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London Cab Companies Might Need to Reduce Knowledge Requirements to Beat Uber

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London Black Cab

Richard Tracey is calling for London black cabs to reduce the knowledge requirements, so the cabs can compete with Uber
Photo: Flickr

Since Uber’s introduction to the world in 2009, cab companies in cities around the world have been struggling to keep up. In London, this deficit is especially astounding. The city’s iconic black cabs are losing out to the easy-to-use rideshare app—and this struggle is only enhanced by the cab industry’s infamously difficult knowledge test.

One Conservative London Assembly member named Richard Tracey is calling to reduce the amount of knowledge London cabbies need to get their license, which will help the cab industry compete with the likes of Uber.

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To become a black cab driver in London, you must pass a navigation test that can take up to three years to learn and pass alone. Each cab driver must know the city’s 25,000 streets like the back of his or her hand, while Uber drivers can use the Uber app to get them where they need to go, simply by entering the address into the navigation system. Tracey is looking to make the knowledge portion significantly easier for black cab drivers.

“Cutting down the knowledge as part of a package of reforms will level the playing field for our much-loved cabbies and ensure our roads remain full of this popular and practical icon for the foreseeable future,” said Tracey.

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Tracey hopes that cutting down the knowledge requirement for London cabbies will not only help the industry gain a better foothold against Uber, but also attract younger drivers. According to the Greater London Authority Conservatives, only 5% of London’s cabbies are 35 and under, while four times that amount are over 70.

If Tracey’s plan goes through, then hopefully we’ll keep seeing black cabs in the streets of London!