Londoners are coming to terms with the fact that, from September 30, Uber will no longer be licensed in the city. But these five start-ups will hope to fill the void – and one in particular has wasted no time capitalising on its rival’s demise.
It’s been called an “Uber clone” – and Taxify does indeed closely resemble its better-known rival. If you haven’t heard of it then that’s because it’s only just launched in London (it started in Estonia before spreading across Europe, the Middle East and Africa).
Taxify has one crucial difference, though – it’s up to 10% cheaper than Uber (while giving drivers a bigger cut). And during September, all Taxify trips are half price – while surge pricing has been suspended.
Almost half of London’s black cabs already run on Gett – an Israeli start-up that, unlike Uber, doesn’t have price surges. Passengers, then, get to travel with licensed taxi drivers while paying flat fares (that, according to Gett, still “beat the meter”).
And the company isn’t resting on its laurels. Only this week it announced a partnership – dubbled ‘Project Black Bus’ – with Citymapper, which will see it launch shared taxi commuter routes between Highbury and Waterloo.
It became Europe’s biggest taxi app after merging with Hailo, and now mytaxi has 17,000 registered black cab drivers in London alone. It officially launched in the UK capital in March 2017, and its app works in much the same way as Uber’s.
Users can, however, save their favourite drivers – who’ll pick up future journey requests first. They can also share their journey with family and friends, which tells them where they are in addition to their ETA.
Oh, and when mytaxi heard about Uber’s misfortune it cut its prices by 50%.
Price comparison app Kabbee, which claims to be 65% cheaper than a black cab, is affiliated to 70 London minicab fleets and 10,000 vehicles. Users can book from five minutes to three months ahead of their journey, and choose the type of car they want to travel in.
Like Uber, it provides tracking and real-time locations. It also monitors customer reviews – and will take action if anybody complains about getting a poor service from their driver.
US start-up Via, alongside German automotive corporation Daimler, will launch ride-sharing shuttles in London before the end of 2017. Its on-demand model already facilitates one million rides a month in New York, Washington and Chicago.
According to Via, booking a ride on its app “costs little more than the bus”. Passengers are picked up (and dropped off) on the corner of the block nearest their location, which speeds up journeys for the other ride sharers.