Uber’s rates in London increase

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LONDON – Uber hikes prices in London by 10% on Thursday as part of an effort to attract more drivers to the platform, marking the biggest price increase in the UK capital since 2017.

It also increases the price of a trip to the airport during rush hour by 25%.

Ridesharing apps have struggled to meet global passenger demand in recent months, and cities like London have been hit particularly hard. When passengers do manage to find a driver, they are often forced to wait longer than normal and pay exorbitant fares.

Uber believes these issues can be fixed if there are more pilots on the platform, but it needs to invest more in manpower to make that happen. Instead of opting for a reduction in the commission charged on each trip, Uber has however decided to ask passengers to pay more.

The San Francisco-based company said passenger demand had increased by nearly 20% in the UK since the country’s lockdown ended in July. To meet increased demand, Uber said it needed to hire 20,000 more drivers across the UK before service returned to normal levels. Hiring more drivers will also help reduce price increases, meaning the average fare increase for passengers will often be less than 10%, Uber said.

“We are making these changes to help deliver a better driving experience, by registering more drivers to meet growing demand,” said a spokesperson for Uber.

They added: “We know people rely on Uber to book a safe trip around London and this small fare increase will help cut wait times. As always, passengers will be given a price estimate before they book. their trip.”

UK Uber drivers have been complaining about pay and workers’ rights since the app launched in London in 2012.

Uber has long argued that drivers are self-employed, but in February the UK Supreme Court upheld a ruling that Uber drivers should be classified as workers rather than independent contractors. Uber is calling for a “third way” to classify concert workers that offers them certain protections while ensuring flexible work.

Some drivers stopped working for Uber during the coronavirus pandemic and moved on to new jobs where they are entitled to benefits such as sick pay and paid time off, but less flexibility. Drivers realized that they could also use their cars to transport food rather than people.

“Many limousine drivers have switched to delivery during the pandemic and have found that the pay is comparable and they don’t have to deal with people,” industry expert Harry Campbell told CNBC in September. .

In April, Uber announced it would spend $ 250 million on a one-time stimulus package to get drivers back on the road.

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