Fridays decision by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Transport for London to stop UBER running a taxi service in London over claims that it is not safe, is truly the worst decision they have ever made. London is meant to be one of the best cities in the world, open to smart technology, a city of the future, and yet someone thinks it is better to stick with the private hire cars and black cabs, who insist on cash up-front, and are happy to sit on the bums in taxi ranks doing bugger all day and then charge Londoners ridiculously high fares for rides in their cabs. Utterly crazy.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was interviewed and said;

I know that Uber has become a popular service for many Londoners – but it would be wrong for TfL to licence Uber if there was any way this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety or security.

Bloody right it has become popular not just in London but all over the world you bloody fool. It is popular because UBER uses smart technology, Google Maps, car identification, driver photos, driver ratings, and every trip is tracked and recorded by GPS. Fares are automatic and charged to the users bank account. Digital receipts, No one has to worry about carrying cash, it is convenient, no need to call dispatch, wait in a line, or wave from a curb. Best of all UBER is a lot cheaper than the ripoff black cabs and private drivers. (no brainer really).

Sadiq Khan in a black cab paid for by the London tax payers.
Sadiq Khan in a black cab paid for by the London tax payers.

What would the mayor know about UBER taxis anyway, he is probably chauffeured around London in an expensive Jaguar/BMW/Merc/Audi or the city pays for his black cab rides.

If the mayor and TFL have concerns over safety and security, why don’t they work with UBER to rectify the problem? Of the hundred odd rides I have taken with UBER all over the world, I’ve never felt unsafe. I think the mayor is alluding to the real reason why UBER is bad for London, because they undercut the black cabs two fold and frankly offer a better service.

How am I any safer in a black cab or private cab versus an UBER taxi? In a black cab my journey is not tracked, I don’t know the driver, he doesn’t know me. In fact I have no record of the route taken. It seems to me that someone (Major Sadiq Khan & TFL) are missing the plot somewhere. There is nothing smart about the old style black cab service or private hire service.

FAIL: Black cab drivers sitting idle instead of picking up fares. This is one of the many areas where UBER is better.

In fact for years now I have been saying if anything had to change it should be the black cab drivers. They need to ditch this idea they need to learn the knowledge and have every road in the heads. That is ridiculous in this day and age, especially given electronic maps are so easily and readily available on smartphones and handheld GPS. Why should we pay extra for that? There is no need for dispatches, fare meters and expensive equipment such as their custom cars. Black cabs need to be linked to a smart app, similar to what UBER is doing. They need to ditch cash payments, link the fare to the app and our bank accounts, and offer discounts (I know that must sound alien for cab drivers). The idea that I must hail a cab is daft, it makes a lot more sense if the cab comes to me after I have requested it.

The mayor and TFL should be embracing change instead of trying to mute it.

Someone started a petition to Save your UBER. So far over 600000 people have signed the petition and that includes me. I’ve included a link above. If you are reading this post and are a Londoner who uses UBER to get around, then put your name to the petition. The wrong decision has been made and UBER should be given a chance to make things better and at least stick around a lot longer.