Transport for London’s (TfL) finance committee approved today a 5.5 per cent increase in black cabs’ fares as a way to help drivers survive the ongoing economic situation.
From 30 April, minimum fares between 5am and 10pm will increase from £3.20 to £3.80, while travellers to Heathrow will see their supplement go up from £2.80 to £3.60, the Evening Standard reported.
The increase will help drivers stay afloat as the costs of operating taxis have increased 10 per cent on pre-pandemic times causing many cabbies to resign.
“When reviewing taxi fares we always try to find a balance on fare increases, to ensure taxis are affordable for our users,” said a TfL spokesperson.
“It’s important to recognise that taxi drivers’ costs have increased significantly since fares and tariffs were last changed. We want to ensure that taxi drivers can cover their own operating costs and make a living.
“It’s important the review ensures that the role of the taxi driver remains a viable career. Any reduction in supply will impact on how quickly passengers can get a taxi around London.”
According to TfL data, the number of both vehicles available and drivers in London fell dramatically during the pandemic. Vehicles numbers went down 27.3 per cent, from 18,504 in 2019/2020 to 13,461 a year later while drivers fell 6.62 per cent.
As of the week ending 6 March, the number of drivers was at 19,587 while the number of licensed taxis went up 14,491.