Londoners have been frustrated with black taxi drivers who refuse to accept card payments and say it forces them to use private services such as Uber. Traditional taxi drivers have suffered during the pandemic and say companies like Uber and Bolt are “flooding the market”.
But some Londoners say it’s actually the lack of acceptance of card payments that has put people off. The comments came after an upset Londoner went to the taxi rank at Waterloo station and saw 20 cars queuing for customers. When he asked if any of them had taken a card, he was told “no, only cash”. Without cash, he decided to take an Uber.
The man took to Reddit and said: “So I approach the black taxi rank in Waterloo. A good 20 cars with no passenger queue. The first two cars ask me where I am going (a good 20 minute journey to west London), both refuse when I ask if they accept cards.
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“Be reasonably annoyed at the third refusal, so I say I thought all taxis should take them. Driver says “all taxis should support the option to use a card, but we don’t have to take “.kidding aside.in front of the station and I took an Uber.”
Other Londoners and tourists later weighed in to say they had faced similar issues. With traditional taxi use declining, Londoners said drivers were not doing enough to ‘help themselves’, despite regulations saying they ‘must accept card payments’.
One man agreed that Uber and other app-based minicabs were becoming “easier” and a “more viable option for traveling around London”. He said: “Black cab drivers as a profession seem to be doing everything they can to ensure their own slow disappearance into obscurity.”
Another also agreed with the man and said that without doing more to “make it easier to get around” people would still opt for an Uber instead. A man said he had a similar conversation with a real black cab driver when he inquired about using a card. He said the driver replied: ‘All taxis should support the option of using a card, but we don’t have to take them.’
Many black cabs accept cards and some even have card machines built into the car. According to TFL regulations, all black cabs must accept card payments, but many Londoners said this was not enforced correctly.
Asking for cash instead of paying by card is against regulations, but the one travelers say “cannot be easily regulated”. Finally, one man said that if black cabs continued this cash-demanding ‘trend’, they would soon be ‘eliminated’.
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