Newham taxi users hail plans for card payment

Police would like the black cab driver to come forward and help with enquiries - he is not a suspect

Police would like the black cab driver to come forward and help with enquiries - he is not a suspect (Picture: PA Images) - Credit: PA WIRE

Transport chiefs have hailed a move to accept card payments in black cabs.

Travelling by taxi is set to become even easier after Transport for London (TfL) confirmed that the capital’s cabs could be accepting card and contactless payments from October next year.

The plans follow a consultation earlier this year, which found 86 per cent of respondents thought black cabs should accept cards

Meanwhile, the surcharge customers currently pay for card payments is also to be eliminated, with transaction fees paid by cabbies reduced from ten to three per cent.

Rather than passengers paying a surcharge, taxi drivers will recoup their transaction costs through a proposed 20p increase on the basic fare – the minimum fare that shows on the meter at the start of the journey which is currently £2.40.

“This is a very positive change for taxi drivers and for our customers,” said Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s chief operating officer for Surface transport.

“London is increasingly a cashless city, with people using cards to pay for all aspects of their daily life – including transport.

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“We are seeing more and more people use contactless payments on our network, and mandating card payments in taxis will mean customers no longer have to consider how they might pay for a journey before getting into a taxi.

“It will also benefit drivers, who will see their services opened up to potential new business.”

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, added: “This is great news for the millions of people who use London’s world famous black cabs.

“This move will boost business for cabbies and bring the trade into the 21st century by enabling quicker and more convenient journeys for customers.”

If approved by the TfL Board in February as part of the annual taxi fares revision, the fare change will come into force in April next year and all cabbies will need to accept card payments from October 2016.

Go to consultations.tfl.gov.uk/taxis/card-payment for more information.

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