The London Night Time Commission has called on the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to promote the use and growth of “digital taxi firms” in capital.

The Commission said in its report that it “…would consider the potential of digital innovation and artificial intelligence to improve how people travel at night.”  The report said that digital taxi firms” is likely to be one of the big areas of urban innovation and, by looking ahead, the capital can secure the benefits for those active at night.

The report did not define what it means by “digital taxi firms” although it can be deduced that these are actually private hire ride-hailing firms such as Uber, Ola and Taxify.

In other recommendations, the group also called for more private sector competition saying this would “increase competition” amongst the taxi trade in the capital which is good for customers as it will drive down costs whilst driving up standards: “This group should include private sector operators offering non-public transport solutions at night to ensure it considers market-led solutions.

Finally, the report also called for a multi-modal transport system that will allow customers to (inter)change their mode of transport recommending: “commuters pay a fixed price for a journey regardless of the method of travel.”

Stephen McCaffrey

Regulatory defence barrister specialising in taxi and private hire licensing law, appeals and defence.

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