Hailing one of London's famous black cabs will no longer mean making sure you've got money on you or stopping for cash.
In a move that will make travelling by taxi even easier, passengers will be able to pay for any journey using just credit and debit cards, including contactless payments, from Monday 31 October.
Although many of London's black taxis have accepted cards for years, cash has remained the standard form of payment. From Monday all taxis will have to carry a card payment device, ending uncertainty for customers about how they will be able to pay.
The move is part of Mayor Sadiq Khan's ambitious Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan, which will make life easier for passengers, improve safety and ensure London has a world-class taxi and private hire market where all providers can thrive.
It has the support of the campaign group Future Taxis, which represents the major London taxi driver associations (including the LTDA, the LCDC and Unite), the taxi booking apps (Hailo and Gett) and LTC, the largest London taxi manufacturer.
Until next year, card payment devices can be fixed or hand-held, but from January 2017 they will need to be installed in the passenger compartment.
The move comes after 86 per cent of respondents to TfL's consultation said they wanted to be able to use cards and contactless payments in taxis.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: `I'm delighted to announce that from next Monday, everyone using our iconic black cabs will be able to pay by card, making their journeys quicker and more convenient. Since becoming Mayor, I've been determined to ensure we have a vibrant taxi and private hire market that provides a truly world-class service for Londoners.
`While many black cab drivers already provide the service, it's important that Londoners know for certain that they won't have to run to the cash machine before they start their journey. Our black cabs provide a unique and invaluable service for Londoners and guaranteed card payment will be good for our black cab industry, and good for passengers across London.'
TfL's Taxi and Private Hire General Manager, Helen Chapman, said: `Many taxi drivers have been accepting card payments for years but customers were never sure when hailing a taxi whether they could pay by card. We've listened to customers, and we believe this will make journeys in black taxis even more convenient.
`We're hoping too that this will benefit London's historic cab trade, and enable them to stay an attractive choice in an increasingly cashless world.`
Speaking on behalf of Future Taxis, Steve McNamara, said: `Card payment has been available in many taxis for years, but ensuring consistency for all customers is something our 'StayFareMayor' campaign repeatedly supported. We are delighted to see another part of our transformation plan coming into effect as we continue to build a faster, smarter, greener taxi trade.'
The Mayor's Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan includes a number of measures to make life easier for passengers, improve safety, and ensure London has a world-class taxi and private hire market where all providers can thrive. Details can be found at http://content.tfl.gov.uk/taxi-and-private-hire-action-plan-2016.pdf
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