Uber Raises London Base Fares by 10% to Attract More Drivers
Uber Technologies Inc. is raising its base fares in London by 10% to attract more drivers to the platform.
Customers had complained on social media in recent months of longer waiting times, cancellations and higher fares during peak hours as workers avoided public transit during the pandemic. Uber needs about 20,000 more drivers to help return service to normal after demand rose 20% following the end of lockdown.
“We’re making these changes to help provide a better rider experience, by signing up more drivers to meet the growing demand,” a spokesman said by email. “This small fare increase will help reduce wait times.”
Some drivers have switched from Uber to rapidly growing delivery businesses and rivals including Bolt Technology OU. Uber has also been forced to give drivers more benefits after the U.K. Supreme Court ruled the firm should recognize a group of them as “workers.”
The higher Uber fares, known as surge pricing, has led to increased use of London’s traditional black cabs as an alternative. Gett, a platform which allows commuters to book black cabs and other private hire vehicles, is seeing a 40% increase in daily use compared with the first quarter of 2020, the Guardian newspaper reported last month.
A trip from Paddington Station to Mayfair’s Berkeley Square was quoted at more than 11 pounds ($15) by Uber just after 10 a.m. on Thursday. A black cab was quoted at 11 to 14 pounds for the same journey on Free Now, a competing app.
Uber customers traveling from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted airports will face an additional 15% increase in fares at peak times. The rises were first reported by the Evening Standard newspaper Wednesday.
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