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West Midlands Taxis against Uber

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  • West Midlands Taxis against Uber

    Taxi companies appear to be thriving in the West Midlands, despite the advent of Uber.

    New figures from the Office for National Statistics show that there were 445 taxi businesses operating in our region in 2018.

    The figure includes cab hire, taxi cab services and private hire cars, as well as chauffeur driven services and car rental that comes with a driver.

    It is not a count of individual drivers - just the companies they work for - and therefore excludes black cabs and Uber drivers.

    The number is up from 435 such businesses in 2015 - the year that Uber first came to Birmingham.

    Nationally, Uber appears to have made little impact on the number of taxi companies in operation - although experts warn the figures don’t tell the full story.

    There were 7,885 taxi companies in businesses across the UK in 2018 - down slightly from 7,950 in 2017, but up from 6,720 in 2012. Donna Short, director of the National Private Hire Association, said: “Uber has made a considerable impact on the taxi trade.

    “Their business model is very attractive, particularly to younger people, which has meant that existing companies have had to up their game.

    “Collectively, taxi companies have had to develop their own apps, start using social media, invest in technology and give more consideration to training.

    “However, while these statistics might suggest that the taxi trade is not suffering as a result, the reality is that the Uber model has reduced the number of operators.

    “What these figures don’t show is that the number individual drivers is dropping - even if the number of companies has gone up.

    “That being said, it’s not the doom and gloom that many in the trade like to portray - it’s a case of survival of the fittest, essentially.”
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