London is planning to force black cabs to accept card payments before the end of 2016, The Week reports.
The city — like many others around the world — is grappling with the rise of ride-hailing apps like Uber.
The services offer customers convenience and speed, but have caused havoc among established taxi industries, and their opponents have expressed concerns about safety.
Uber recently won a key legal battle in London, with the high court ruling that the app is not a “taximeter” — a piece of hardware found in taxis. The company would have faced onerous new legislation had the court ruled the other way.
Transport for London (TfL), the city’s transport regulator, has now drawn up a plan along with mayor Boris Johnson to require London’s iconic black cabs to accept card and contactless payments. Right now, some taxis can be cash-only — leaving modern Londoners reliant on plastic out-of-luck.
The plan is subject to approval by the TfL board in February, according to The Week, and should come into effect by October 2016.
TfL exec Garrett Emmerson said that “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. It will also benefit drivers, who will see their services opened up to potential new business.”
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