To black cab drivers in London the Uber app is like a fast spreading plague. It did allow users to hail a minicab using an app from wherever they are, rather than waiting to hail a good old Hackney Carriage. But now, after a planned go-slo day for black cabs in London, Uber has compromised allowing users to call black cabs from its app thanks to the UberTAXI update.
Some argue that black cabs are better since the drivers have The Knowledge and know how to get to any destination quickly bearing in mind one-way streets and works. And black cabs can even be cheaper. So the only issue appears to be a lack of knowledge about the apps that work for black cabs. But there are plenty of options out there other than Uber.
This app not only lets users call a cab from the app, but also tracks it live. The app will track the driver on a map within the app so you can see exactly when your carriage will roll up.
Payment with Get Taxi is also easier than most since carriage-callers won't need cash or even a card but can pay with the app itself. And that payment will only be whatever the meter says. There are no hidden costs or charges, weekday or weekend, says Get Taxi.
Get Taxi is so well advanced it even has kiosks that allows anyone to order a black cab from the reception of a building, without even owning the app. There are also enterprise account options to allow staff to use black cabs, with the app, while the company can keep track of all the costs.
The Get Taxi app is available on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry with Windows Phone coming soon – all free to download.
This is the most well known black cab app. Hailo, dubbed "The Taxi Magnet" is available on iOS and Android for free, allowing users to hail a black cabs from wherever they are.
The apps description makes a point of saying it takes just two clicks to have a black cab on its way to pick you up. Payments are then taken by card or cash based on the legally registered metre there in the cab.
Hailo works wider than black cabs with over 14 cities covered. It can be used by businesses to book cabs and includes a free five minutes waiting time.
As the name suggest this app deals with the 24,000 registered black cabs in London. It's only available on the App Store but is a two click to get picked up affair.
Black Cabs lets users pay by card or even using PayPal. It can also be used to book cabs in advanced for a timely pick-up at a specific location.
It's clear black cabs aren't short of a few apps to help them stay connected. So why is Uber such an issue? Its meter, that works within the app without the driver having to pay the usual license fee black cabs must pay, is a big part of it. Black cab drivers planned to strike against the TfL who, they say, should be making Uber pay the same fees. But now Uber has added UberTAXI which uses black cabs, that strike may not happen. Although without TfL applying the same fees to everyone action could still happen.