In addition to offering town cars on demand and ultra-luxe charter rides (not to mention a Hamptons Helicopter), startup Uber is aggressively rolling out its taxi service, UberX, to cities across the globe. Its latest outpost is London, where it will compete with the city’s famed cabbies and thriving MiniCab service.
Uber says its UberX service, which includes a fleet of BMW 3 series, Toyota Priuses and other equivalent cars, costs less than a taxi in its home city of San Francisco. In London, the base fare of UberX is £3.00 and it costs £1.75 for each additional mile, making it half the price of the startup’s UberLux offering. It says it is significantly cheaper than London’s other cab options — 40% cheaper than London MiniCab company Addison Lee and 30-50% cheaper than a traditional Black Cab.
The company continues to expand — it now operates in 30 U.S. and overseas cities — despite tangles with regulators in a number of places. It has run into legal/regulatory obstacles in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C., among other cities, as it seeks to disrupt existing taxi and livery services. In part for this reason, Uber has tailored its service to offer different options in different cities — from working directly with Chicago cabs to provide Uber service to offering an e-hail only for New York City
It’s unclear if London legislators will make moves towards restricting Uber’s presence in the city.