Two per cent taxi fares rise will take cost of average journey to £13.50
Transport for London is expected to approve an increase of about two per cent that will take the cost of an average black cab journey to about £13.50.
Taxi chiefs insist that the rise — the first since April 2018 — is modest and a “good compromise” in return for the £180 million invested by drivers in electric cabs. About 3,000 of the £60,000 “green” vehicles are now operating in London.
But the move could further intensify the fight for passengers at a time when minicab firms such as Addison Lee have cut fares in central London, and app-based services such as Bolt and Kapten launched an advertising blitz after TfL removed Uber’s operating licence amid concerns about some drivers using fake identities.
Uber is expected to submit an appeal by Monday and can continue operating until next year’s court hearing.
If TfL’s finance committee approves the new fares for black cabs next Wednesday, the minimum fare will rise 20p to £3.20 and the day-time tariffs (between 5am and 10pm) will increase 1.9 per cent.
The premium-rate night tariff — for journeys between 10pm and 5am — and the rate for journeys over six miles will be frozen. The new fares will start on January 11.
Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, which represents black cab drivers, said: “We are pleased to be able to keep it down to a level that is less than inflation.
“It’s not a game changer. In return, our customers are getting a 21st century vehicle driven by someone who knows where he is going, who is insured, and the person driving the vehicle is the person meant to be driving the vehicle.”
TfL said the new fares struck an “appropriate balance between drivers being fairly remunerated and taxi users getting fair, reasonable and affordable fares”.
Its annual taxi and minicab user satisfaction survey found that 67 per cent thought fares were too expensive. A total of 62 per cent said the cost was the main reason for using taxis less often. London has 23,505 licensed taxi drivers.