One taxi for Uber! Unless they can swing something, then TFL will be cutting the ignition for Uber in London on September 30th. But don’t fear, before you cancel your entire social diary post the September 30th D-Day, The Handbook has some handy alternatives.
You could go back to black. If you like your cabs black, with thoroughly licensed and vetted drivers who’ve passed the gruelling ‘knowledge’ exam, but you want the security of knowing there’s a paper trail, then get Gett. The phone app is already used by most traditional black cabbies and works in much the same way as Uber, you download the app, enter your details and you’re good to go. Of course you will also find yourself paying the generally higher black cab rates, but you’ll probably not get lost en-route, your driver will always know a nifty back route to avoid the jams and with the tightest turning circle in town you’ll be running rings around the competition.
Clapham Junction to Waterloo Station: £20.33
Addison Lee, the premier taxi service so good that there was a whole song about it… (check out Not3s) but more than that, Addison Lees have free 4G Wi-Fi, phone chargers as standard, fixed fares and more importantly no peak-time surges, so it isn’t going to cost you triple to get home in the evening. You can also book up to three months in advance…if you’re super organised.
Clapham Junction to Waterloo Station: £19
You might have already heard of myTaxi, under its previous name Hailo. It’s been around for a while in the UK, but recently joined European taxi app myTaxi, now operating in the UK and across 50 other cities abroad, making it a handy app for the seasoned traveller. MyTaxi is largely similar to Uber; you order a taxi to your location and payment is cashless – but also includes some fun extras, like a feature where you can create a list of your favourite drivers. Unlike Uber however, myTaxi vehicles are licensed – including almost 20,000 black cab drivers, so you won’t get the infuriating ‘surge prices’ when it gets busy. Plus there’s plenty of opportunities to get a bargain, as it follows TfL’s standard rates, as well as price-slashes on airport runs and deals for first-time users. It falls short of Uber, however, in that there’s a £10 minimum fare on the weekends – so it’s less useful for those ‘I can’t be bothered to walk’/ ‘It’s raining’ journeys.
Clapham Junction to Waterloo Station: £26
With similar price levels to Uber, Kabbee is a minicab app which compares prices from various taxi companies according to ‘Cheapest’ and ‘Closest’ criteria, with estimated arrival time and how often a given company’s taxis are on time. Claiming to be up to 65% cheaper than black cabs and with a fleet of 10,000 cabs in London, Kabbee also offers fixed price journeys to and from London airports, which earn the customer double miles for credits and upgrades.
Clapham Junction to Waterloo Station: £16.50 – £26.65
Of course all this hinges on Uber not being able to sway something with TFL. Given they already have hundreds of thousands of signatures on a petition, not to mention that the editor of the supremely influential Evening Standard is also on the payroll at Uber investors Blackrock, we suspect that a deal might be struck after all.