News: London Riders to Fund New Ubers!


Uber, the taxi hire app, has continually grown in popularity over recent years across the UK, but not without its share of controversy! The company has faced legal action from other taxi services, and more recently, had its private hire license revoked by Transport for London (TfL). Although this was given a short stay of execution last year.

Starting on Jan 16th 2019 a new levy will be applied to all London trips, and some riders might not be happy!

a woman in a car looking at her phone
Image Uber

London Riders to Fund New Ubers!

Under a bill called the Clean Air Plan that Uber announced late last year, starting on January 16th 2019, riders in London will get an additional 15p per mile added onto their bill!!

So how, you might ask, does 15p per mile improve the air quality in London? Well, the fees will not be going to a scheme to plant more trees, but instead, a saving pot for the drivers to buy a new car with! That’s right Uber users will contribute to new cars for the drivers over the coming years!

These ‘new’ cars will have to be electric and the money will be paid out like a grant when the driver next decides to buy a new vehicle. This scheme is to help Uber achieve their commitment to be fully electric by 2025.

a woman leaning on a car door
Image Uber

The press release reads…

The Clean Air Plan has been designed to support the Mayor’s vision of a cleaner, healthier London. One of the key elements will be helping drivers upgrade to cleaner vehicles. And we’ve set ourselves the aim of making every car on the app in London fully electric by 2025.

From Wednesday 16 January, a Clean Air Fee of 15p per mile will be included on every trip taken through the app in London. This will only apply to miles travelled on a trip, and will not include miles travelled to your pick up location. For drivers looking to upgrade, every penny will go towards supporting their move into an electric vehicle.

You’ll always be able to see how much you’ve contributed to the Clean Air Plan from each trip in your receipt, and none of this fee will come from your driver’s fare. The money will go towards helping drivers upgrade to an electric vehicle and other clean air initiatives. Once drivers have an electric vehicle, the Clean Air Fee will then be used to support their ongoing vehicle costs.Source Uber.

Interestingly, the fee is not only mandatory on all London rides, but will continue to be charged even if the driver already has an electric vehicle. Uber claims this is to help them maintain the car!

While I don’t dispute cleaner transport for cities such as London, having the passengers pay, and maintain, the car for the drivers is a bit cheeky. My usual trip to the airport, as an example, will now be £3 more expensive each way!

I’d rather see Uber set an entry requirement for any new drivers that their cars need to be electric, and current ones have a timeframe to upgrade.

Join the Conversation

What are your thoughts on the new Uber charges for London? Do you agree with them and want to see them in your home city soon?

Join the conversation below in the comments or over on Facebook & Twitter.

Tom, Editor. An online publication providing news & reviews on apps, gadgets and luggage for the connected traveller.

Leave a Reply