Removal of card fees in London’s taxis
Customers using cards no longer have to pay a surcharge on their taxi fare. This means that passengers should never pay more than the amount shown on the meter because of the method they use to pay. The previous cost of paying by card was £1 or 10 per cent of the fare, whichever was greater.
All London licensed taxis will be required to accept card payments including contactless in October, following a decision by the Transport for London (TfL) Board in February.
To compensate drivers for costs associated with accepting cards there has been an increase of 20 pence on the minimum fare, bringing it to £2.60
Other changes to fares include:
- An overall increase of 1.6 per cent in average taxi fares, linked to rising drivers' costs such as fuel, insurance and maintenance
- A change in tariff 3 from 10pm-5am to 10pm-6am - meaning passengers are on a cheaper tariff for an extra hour
- Making changes to the tariff rate for longer journeys (referred to as tariff 4). Previously passengers paid a higher fare when the meter reached a fixed amount. This tariff will be now start at a fixed distance (6 miles) - giving greater certainty over the fare, regardless of traffic conditions
In addition, TfL has launched a new phone line and online feedback facility, which allows people using both taxi and private hire services to provide comments and suggestions, and helps TfL to respond effectively to any issues or complaints.
Garrett Emmerson, TfL's Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport, said: 'We are pleased to be able to reduce the cost for taxi passengers paying by card, as people now use them in every aspect of their lives. The acceptance of these types of payments in all taxis from October will be a huge plus for Londoners, visitors and drivers.
'We also know that customers want to be able to contact us quickly and easily when they have an issue, want to pass on a commendation or tell us how we can do things better. The new helpline and online feedback facility allows people using both private hire and taxi vehicles to do this.'
Notes to Editors:
- Customers can now share their comments on using taxi and private hire services in London online at www.tfl.gov.uk/tph-comments or by calling 0343 222 4000. The phone line is open between 08:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays)
- From October, the ability for customers being able to pay by card will be a condition of a taxi driver's licence and having an approved device will be a condition for a vehicle to be licenced as a taxi
- There are 22,500 licensed taxis in London
- The consultation on the requirement for all taxis to accept card payments received more than one thousand responses from a wide range of stakeholders, including taxi trade organisations, passenger safety groups, card industry representatives and the London Assembly Transport Committee
- Evidence from New York, which mandated card acceptance in taxis in 2010, indicates that London's taxi drivers can expect an increase in card-paying passengers, given the greater convenience it will offer
- Taxi drivers continue to charge no additional fees for extra passengers or luggage
- There will also be flexibility to alter fares to reflect volatility in price of diesel, which will mean:
- Extending the arrangements where fares increase by 40 pence if diesel prices increase significantly (threshold of 148.56 pence per litre)
- Introducing a new arrangement where fares decrease by 40 pence if diesel prices decrease significantly (threshold of 72.70 pence per litre)