Weighing up which is best for you – a classic cab or hitching a lift via the ride-sharing platform
The pros and cons of regulated cab services versus the ride- sharing newcomers
It’s been less than a decade since Uber launched (2009), and just six years since it expanded to the UK, arriving in London July 2, 2012. Since then it has expanded to 20 other UK locations including Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and Cambridge. Many cities have fast, convenient public transport to transfer you from the airport and whisk you around town, but in some cases a taxi is still the preferable (or only) option. Where taxi charges are on the high side (such as in the UK), ride-sharing companies such as Uber have gained a foothold. In London, Uber had a setback in September 2017 when Transport for London (TfL) did not renew Uber’s licence, citing a number of issues; the dispute is ongoing, and for the time being, Uber continues to operate in the capital. Brighton and York licensing authorities are also reviewing Uber’s licences.
In some countries and cities Uber faces stiff competition not just from existing taxi firms, but also from other ride-sharing schemes. In March 2018, Grab – a competitor to Uber – took over Uber's operations in South East Asia. However in other countries such as Japan, Uber is proving a disruptive force by being easier to hail, and more convenient, rather than simply cheaper.
There are many ethical and safety concerns about looser regulations related to ride-share apps that have been flagged by readers on businesstraveller.com/forum. But if saving money is your main concern, the following table shows some relative costs: