Are Taxis and Private Hire vehicles meeting passengers’ needs?

05 June 2014

How can Taxi and Private Hire services better meet the needs of London passengers and adapt to new technologies?

The London Assembly Transport Committee has today launched an investigation into how Taxi and Private Hire Services help play a part in moving Londoners and visitors around the capital, how they mesh with other forms of transport, and how they might change to provide a better service in the future.

The Committee will also examining Transport for London’s (TfL) role as licensor and regulator of the trades, including how it tackles touting and other safety concerns.

Over 300,000 trips per day in London are made by taxi or private hire vehicle. This represents around one per cent of total daily journeys in the capital.

There are over 25,000 licensed taxi drivers and over 66,000 licensed private hire drivers in London. Licensed taxis (black cabs) are able to accept street hails, can operate from ranks and must have a taximeter. Private hire vehicles (minicabs) cannot accept street hails or use ranks, and must be pre-booked through a licensed operator.

Chair of the Transport Committee Caroline Pidgeon AM said:

“Black cabs are as synonymous with London as Tower Bridge and Big Ben. Alongside Private Hire vehicles they play an important role in providing a service to Londoners and visitors to our capital, particularly for those who don’t own their own car, have mobility impairments or work unsocial hours.

“New technologies have the potential to improve passenger services but also present a challenge to the existing regulation of London’s Taxi and Private Hire trades.

”Our investigation will focus on how both sectors can improve on all aspects of passenger service, including the vital issue of safety. We will want to see how the Mayor and Transport for London are responding to this changing environment and how they can improve their regulation of and services to the industries.”

The investigation will look at a wide range of issues that have an effect on passengers including:

  • Availability of Taxis and Private Hire vehicles
  • Safety and security, including touting
  • Fares and payment options
  • The Mayor's position on Taxis and Private Hire vehicles
  • The performance of Transport for London's Taxi and Private Hire Unit

The Committee will hold two formal meetings in public on 9 July and 2 September 2014. People are also invited to submit written views about the issues above to the Transport Committee, London Assembly, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA, or email: [email protected] .

Notes to editors

  1. For more detailed information read Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles investigation
  2. Caroline Pidgeon AM, Chair of the Transport Committee, is available for interview. See contact details below.
  3. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.