News: TfL fights back Uber with smart technology but also plans a 20p fare rise.
TfL has unveiled plans to counter the rising popularity of cheaper taxi services in the capital by making all black cabs contactless payment-ready.
In a move to ease commuter travel and boost the 25,000 black cabs business in the capital, Mayor Boris Johnson has giving permission for the service to be rolled out.
Expected to cover all taxis by October 2016, TfL has also plans to introduce a 20p rise on the basic fare, meaning the minimum fare is set to go up to £2.60.
The fare change will be discussed by the TfL Board next February and could be in place by April if approaved.
A number of card payment operators are already working on devices that would allow passengers to pay for their journeys. These include VeriFone, Taxipay, Dashtaxi, CCIPS, Ingenico, iZettle, Muria 010 and PayPal.
Yesterday, Uber unveiled plans to introduce its UberPool service in the capital, widening its offer by allowing strangers to share the same vehicle making fares cheaper.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: "This move will boost business for cabbies and bring the trade into the 21st century by enabling quicker and more convenient journeys for customers."
Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s COO for surface transport, said: `"We are seeing more and more people use contactless payments on our network, and mandating card payments in taxis will mean customers no longer have to consider how they might pay for a journey before getting into a taxi."