Black cabs v Uber: The Knowledge factor
How different are Uber taxis from black cabs?
There are a number of difference between Uber cars, which operate in London as private hire vehicles (PHVs), and black cabs
Here are the key points:
:: Finding a car
PHVs must be pre-booked through a TfL-licensed operator before a journey starts, whereas black cabs can be hailed in the street, at a taxi rank or booked in advance.
:: Type of vehicle
PHVs are a wide range of vehicles including minicabs, executive cars and limousines.
They must be no more than 10 years old.
Black cabs can be any colour, not just black, but must be purpose-built vehicles with a “for hire” light on their roof.
They must also be fully wheelchair accessible.
Black cab fares are set by Transport for London and are calculated using a meter.
Mini cab firms set their own fares. Uber’s standard fares are generally cheaper than black cabs, although it regularly introduces price surges which can significantly hike prices.
Black cab drivers must prove they have an encyclopedic knowledge of the capital’s streets and landmarks to enable them to navigate their way around the city.
To prove this they must pass The Knowledge, which usually takes three to four years of training.
Uber drivers often rely on sat navs.
:: Checks on drivers
Both PHV and black cab drivers must pass criminal record background checks and medical exams.