CBR looks at who you can call on if Uber’s not longer in London.
Over the last week it’s been a rollercoaster ride for Uber. Last Friday the ride-hailing company were denied the renewal of their licence across London by Transport for London (TfL) after the company was branded ‘not fit and proper’ following a series of legal issues. The decision leaves 40,000 drivers uncertain of their futures.
However, Uber vowed to not go down without a fight and within hours of the decision the company launched an online petition to appeal the decision, which now has over 750,000 digital signatures. Dara Khosrowshahi admitted the company had “got things wrong along the way” and apologised to the residents in London.
If Uber’s licence appeal isn’t granted, not only will drivers be wondering what to do next, but so will users. If Uber no longer exists not many people would know what company to call on. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to Uber out there, just no one knew because people trust what they know and despite allegations and legal disputes commuters heavily rely on the ride hailing firm.
From traditional taxi firms, to newbies in the business hoping to make an impact in the market there’s plenty on offer for the residents of the UK Capital. Of course, price, availability and accessibility are the things that are loved by Uber. Not to worry, these alternatives have just as much on offer.
Established over 40 years ago, the traditional taxi company is now in the same lane as other ride-hailing companies as it embraces technology and introduces the ‘Addison Lee App’ to rival its competitors.
Since its launch in 2011, the phone app takes over £1m per month according to the taxi company. Users can call on a car from Addison Lee to be there within 10 minutes, as well as being able to book up to three months in advance.
The ethos of Uber was a cashless cab system, whereas Addison Lee offers both cashless and payment on trip. Some would say it’s catering for the majority, those who don’t have a smartphone to download the app.
It comes with many benefits to the actual vehicles themselves, carrying up to four passengers at a time, 4G Wi-Fi installed in each car, a mobile phone charger and electric drive. Currently, the service is operated in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and many other places.
Although this ride-hailing company isn’t yet in the UK, it definitely has the potential to make it’s way and be the next best thing to Uber. Don’t forget, Uber didn’t arrive in the UK until 2015, six years after their launch in the US.
Launched in 2012, Lyft has made its way on the streets of the US and has attracted quite a lot of interest from big name brands. Alphabet are keen to invest and Jaguar Land Rover already have with a $25m stake in self-driving.
Similarly to Uber, Lyft lets you hail a car on demand and track your driver to see how far away they are on the map as well as using app payments. Unlike Uber Lyft features pink lights on the dashboard so users can easily recognise their car when it arrives, especially on a busy road.
Lyft has surge pricing, the same as Uber, to reach the high demand at peak times. It also offers carpooling options for users as Uber began too and fair splitting for travellers.
As a more similar rival to Uber, Gett started its journey in Israel when it launched in 2010. Since then, the cab company has made its way to the UK and has now become a black cab app in the city.
Unlike Uber, it offers flat pricing currently operating in Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Oxford and other areas across the South of the country. Gett has no surge prices, which could potentially lead to less cars available at peak times. Similarly to Addison Lee, Gett offers upfront and pre-booked journey’s to users. Users also get a three minute window to cancel their journey.
It currently operates in over 100 cities and gives users special offers after travelling with the company so many times.
Hailo was founded in London in 2011, then merged with European company MyTaxi in 2016 where the name takes over in European cities. The company has over 100,000 drivers across 9 countries including 17,000 cars across London alone.
The company operates in a similar way to Uber; letting users quickly set up an account, order a taxi to your location and pay using the app. The difference is there are no surge prices with MyTaxi.
The app itself claims its fares are set by local regulations, meaning it follows TfL rates rather than being dependent on the scenario. However, like many of the other alternatives to Uber MyTaxi gives users offers such as price cuts, money off vouchers, discounted rates to popular locations and ‘flash sales’.
Another London-based alternative for Uber users, Kabbee is solely based in London and used with a simple booking done through their app. Kabbee offers 24/7 bookings to users with 10,000 London cars available across the City from 70 different providers.
Similar to Uber, it can be a budget service for users and not charging extortiant prices travellers may face in black cabs and the drivers get you around easily.
Kabbee is also another alternative offering fixed rates to customers. Although the company claims to be significantly cheaper than a black cab, it still charges £8.30 from Farringdon to Blackfriars unlike Uber that currently offers £5-£6.
This alternative offers a loyalty scheme to customers, allowing them to earn credits for future journey use and also bonus ‘treats’ that can be redeemed.