/ Travel & Leisure

Is Uber good for passengers?

Transport for London (TfL) has proposed regulations for mini cab services like Uber, but it would seem that there’s been little consideration for the impact on passengers. We’re calling for a rethink.

Now, I love a good incentive scheme. My favourite coffee shop ensures it stays my favourite by giving me my 10th coffee free, but I do wonder if I’m the only one who feels a tad guilty reaping rewards for recommending a service I love to friends. Uber for example gives me £10 credit for recommending a friend, and gives that friend £10 towards their first ride too.

Unfortunately there are changes afoot that might make me less likely to recommend Uber in the future.

Putting the brakes on Uber

TfL is proposing new regulations on the mini cab industry that, if implemented, would force people to wait five minutes for a vehicle, even if one was available sooner.

The proposals could also stop mini-cab companies from sharing information on mini-cab availability and waiting times either physically of via an app. This is a key feature of Uber and other apps which allow you to get a view of the availability and wait times of cabs ahead of booking.

Another of TfL’s proposals would require companies to specify fares before the journey. This could pave the way for fixed price tariffs, which would exclude cases where charges calculated by time and distance can be more efficient.

We haven’t yet seen evidence that the current system isn’t working, so we think there is little justification for these reforms to be taken forward.

And these proposals won’t just impact Uber, which has more than a million users in London. They will also affect any mini-cab company wanting to offer similar services.

Now, we support improvements to the quality, safety and standard of cab services, but we’re concerned that some of the proposals would damage competition by restricting private hire cab companies.

Let the public drive this forward

We’re concerned that TfL is giving too much consideration to what the industry wants, and not thinking about passengers. On TfL’s initial consultation only 5% of respondents were members of the public, while around 80% were from people connected to the mini cab or taxi industry.

So, we’re submitting a response to TfL’s consultation. We’re urging TfL to think about the unintended consequences of these reforms. Putting consumers in the driving seat, in any market, will help increase competition which will benefit people, business and growth in the economy.

We think passengers should be driving the London cab debate, so do let us know what you think about these proposals.

Useful links:

Which? response to the Private Hire Regulations Review consultation and proposals (PDF)

Comments
Member

It seems the uber drivers are working very long hours,some are working 80hrs a week,surely this is dangerous.Also had a look at the uber london drivers forum,seems they are not very happy,especially when there is no surge pricing ,some of them seem to keep refusing rides,and this makes surge pricing more readily available.Think i will stay with Black taxis .

Member

Why do a debate when you are removing comments you don’t like, Uber is the worst thing to happen to this country , there are better app’s hailo get and cap app where st least the drivers know where they are going uber drivers union is taking them to court they have 154 lawsuits. Going on worldwide , if you want a honest debate stop deleting ?

Member

Only ‘discovered’ Uber last week, so I really can’t add to the discussion , other than to note It must be setting a record for the most votes – up and down – and the most moderator deletions and edits. I haven’t looked, yet, but I assume from the tone of many postings that Uber only operate in London? Even ‘normal’ taxis don’t operate where we live, but in any case one post I read which clearly needs addressing is #comment-1425800.

Member

Hello all, we’re very happy for you to make criticisms of companies. A balanced debate with both sides of the argument is the dream, and you can see that there are comments from all opinions published on this discussion.

We carry out very light moderation on Which? Conversation, however, very serious unsubstantiated claims are in direct contravention of our terms and conditions. Our community guidelines and T&Cs are here to foster a community atmosphere where anyone feels they can share their views, and we encourage comments from both sides of the argument.

We’re working very hard to get comments up as quickly as possible and making as few changes as possible. Please have patience and thanks again for sharing your views. If you’d like to discuss any of this with me, as the Editor of this website, please don’t hesitate to email me: https://conversation.which.co.uk/contact-us/

Member
John Osborne says:
11 December 2015

Everyone should just look into Camerons kids godparent working for Uber

Member

In the interest of keeping comments on the subject of Uber, a couple of off-topic comments have unfortunately had to be removed from this particular thread, as per our community guidelines. If you’d like to be emailed a copy of your comment so that you can post it in a more suitable place, such as here: https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/welcome-to-the-new-which-conversation/ please don’t hesitate to email me, as the managing editor of Which? Conversation, here: https://conversation.which.co.uk/contact-us/

Member

What did I tell you, folks?
—————
Dear Mr Steen, (the managing editor of Which? Conversation, …………… !)

Since you’ve ‘had’ to remove these comments, how are we supposed to know which ones they were, since they’ve been removed?
So just who should write to you @ … conversation.which.co.uk/contact-us/ ?
Perhaps everyone who thinks that their comment/s might have been censored ….
Oops, ‘had’ to be removed
should write, to you?
THAT really would keep you busy.
You see, in those immortal words:
” … as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

Since this is a reasoned response to YOUR dictat, it isn’t eligible to be deleted – is it?

Member

What parts are Which? staff unhappy with?

Uber claim to be active in 12 cities/areas in the UK . I have no idea as to what is happening in the other eleven areas so that might be interesting to see if Which? can provide an oversight. Perhaps some regional correspondents can provide the info.