Taxi firms... are you local?

Just wondering if fellow Stroud Greeners have a preferred mini cab firm? Have used Crouch End Cabs for neigh on 25 years but their quality of service seems to have gone down the pan recently. Cabs either not available, phone not answered, cabs not turning up or being dreadfully late. Any suggestions? Bar Neocon UBER Alles that is.
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  • Have been using Express Cars along Hornsey Road for last few years - friendly drivers and competitive prices.
  • I have been using Express Cars too, for years. I have always got good service.
  • Capital Cars on SGR.
    Or Gett app for a real taxi at set rates. A much nicer, safer option than Uber.
  • I don't know if they're still offering it, but a month ago, Gett was offering £5 off each of your first ten rides (so £50 free), so I'm with @miss annie on recommending Gett.
  • grennersgrenners Ferme Park Road, N4
    Uber. Recently got one home from Kings Cross with lots of cases etc it cost considerably less that a real taxi and the driver helped me considerably with loading etc.
  • Many thanks for your responses. Have used Capital cars recently and they have been excellent, they text details of who and when the car will arrive with a pic of the driver. Will take a look at the Gett app, sounds promising. An interesting article on Uber attached, highlighting the vile deregulated 'gig economy' mantra that makes attacks on workers rights not a by-product but an integral part of the business plan. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/13/uber-practices-company-london-consumer-sumofus?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
  • grennersgrenners Ferme Park Road, N4
    Do other mini cab or black cab drivers get holiday and sick pay?
  • I'm pretty happy with Express Cars. I live on Corbyn Street and they are right on the corner. They also text driver details and booking confirmations and the drivers are usually very nice and helpful.
  • https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/22/uber-licence-transport-for-london-tfl

    Uber down and hopefully out.... one in the teeth for the neocon gig economy free market Uber Alles ayatollahs, not to mention the Adam Smith Institute for the Economically Insane...
  • grennersgrenners Ferme Park Road, N4
    Will be interesting to see if there is any demonstration from 40K drivers. Some will have bought their cars on finance. Ouch.
  • Many are professional taxi drivers anyway who worked for other firms before switching to Uber, so they won't have bought their cars specifically to work for Uber, nor will their careers end once Uber's been kicked out.
  • grennersgrenners Ferme Park Road, N4
    I can't see how mini cab services are any safer or better value for money than uber. Some drivers will be worse off having to go through some terrible booking agency on the high street. Black cab drivers deserved a kick up the backside driving around on 4 day weeks being rude to people and over charging. Uber made them develop an app Hail. If we had it their way we would be standing in a dark rainy street hoping for a vacant cab to drive past.
  • I have lived in London all my life and never had a rude taxi driver. They can't overcharge because the meter shows you the fare.
    Gett is actually the app to use for black cabs at fixed fares.
    As a woman I would rather pay a little more for a police checked, registered, licensed driver who will take me home late at night by the direct route and actually knows where my little side street is.
  • grennersgrenners Ferme Park Road, N4
    I'm talking about over charging because it shouldn't be that expensive not because they ignore the meter. Black cabs are a rip off even before uber. It was always cheaper to use a mini cab the only difference now is that with sat nav you don't have to direct them to your house.
  • Oh, with Uber, you still do - about 90% of Uber drivers last year refused to believe I'd entered my address correctly and would insist on turning left instead of right onto my street. The local cab company was far worse, though.
  • What Miss Annie said.
  • I'm interested to see how this plays out. I've had nearly forty Uber journeys over the past couple of years, and found it to be far better than using minicabs and even taxis for the following reasons:

    The only reason I looked into using Uber in the first place was because the minicabs around here have been so unreliable and unpredictable, sometimes not even answering the phone. Uber has been 100% RELIABLE! The app tells you how long it will be before the driver gets to you (typically 5 mins, rarely as much as 10 mins in my experience). This has been accurate, unlike the minicab services (and even Radio Cabs, a taxi service) where 5 mins becomes 15, then 20…

    It's in the driver's interest to get you to your destination quickly and safely, because otherwise she/he risks getting a bad review.

    The Uber app gives you a good estimate of the fare before you book the journey.

    Even if their English is broken, the drivers need only enough interaction to establish you are their actual customer when they arrive to pick you up, and the drivers generally seem to speak better English than most of the minicab drivers I've used in recent years. (Though I understand this can be a problem for passengers who might need help with luggage or getting in or out of the vehicle).

    Tipping is not expected and never solicited, and because you pay through your account, there's no financial transaction with the driver.

    Minicabs have been horrible to deal with:

    There was an office I went to on Upper Tollington Park where they expected me to pay even before the car arrived to pick me up! I declined.

    I've had a driver try to hike the fare en route; another driver starting to take me to Wood Green instead of Golders Green, and trying to charge me the extra for HIS mistake; smelly cars; even one occasion where there was already a passenger in the car being dropped off somewhere else before me!

    Of course, aside from the reported problems with their selection or screening processes (I haven't had any problems with Uber drivers, their conduct, or their driving), the big downside is that it seems the drivers are financially near-shafted by Uber, and thus by extension, by us, the customers, which I find regrettable. However, I have an elderly, infirm family member, and most of my trips have involved taking her somewhere, mostly for hospital visits or medical appointments, so low cost and reliability have been important.
  • grennersgrenners Ferme Park Road, N4
    The business model despite its faults has been revolutionary by providing vast improvements in ingenuity and has provided personal transport to the masses and why shouldn't we have It? I read 75% of mini cab businesses have gone bust and quite rightly nodody cares. I'm sure uber will be back but playing by London's rules. My experiences with uber have all been good.
  • @grenners I've had Uber drivers tell me for the past year or so that Uber will put all of the minicab firms out of business.

    It's convenience, cost and ubiquity - having that many drivers means never having to wait too long for a taxi; you can see where they are from the app (rather than the minicab's vague 'not far away'); and the fact that the rides are being subsidised by 60% so we're only paying a fraction of the real cost.

    I would be interested in seeing how the other apps would respond to Uber's ejection - eg when I arrived in Edinburgh two months ago, Gett was offering £50's worth of free rides.

    (I've had plenty of sh*t experiences with Uber, but being able to travel from Tooting (office) to Camberwell (a theatre I was producing a show at) then (Muswell Hill) for £30 was very nice. As is having notched up over £50 in credits because of dodgy Uber experiences - and I only started using Uber in Leeds as the local minicab firm was so dire).
  • This is a very good article about the TfL Uber decision:
    https://www.londonreconnections.com/2017/understanding-uber-not-app/
    Worth a read if you want to understand the situation properly. Certainly doesn't make Uber look good.

    Personally I've so far refused to use Uber as the ethics of the company put me off. But then my days of going out regularly and needing transport at night are mostly over, so it's easy for me to say (and as a disorganised parent I'm a slave to Amazon and their same/next day delivery so am a hypocrite in that respect). Plus, you can't fit a buggy in an Uber...

    For anyone looking for a (temporarily at least) affordable alternative, the black cab app Mytaxi currently has 50% off all weekend fares until November. I'm assuming that works out cheaper than surge price Uber. Investors are taking the financial hit so the drivers still get a good wage.
  • For what it is worth, I have found Uber very good.
  • For what it is worth, I have found Uber very good.
  • grennersgrenners Ferme Park Road, N4
    @minim recently got off a train at St Pancras with two huge cases and a pram with my son and wife. Ordered an uber XL and the driver helped me load said items and deal with a spilt milk issue. Cost was way cheaper than the last time I did it by black cab. Appreciate cost is subsidised so is an unsustainable model but there is no way I'm paying that much for a black cab.
  • Have any of you tried Gett?
  • What do people think will happen when there are no black cabs or other competition, do you think prices will go down or up?

    Profits subsidised by slave wages as well.

    -

    There's very little i agree with James O'Brien about, but the fact of British people hating others earning a decent wage (cabbies, train drivers, tradesmen) is bang on.
  • edited 10:32AM
    @grenners Can you wheel the buggy straight into an UberXL though? We don't have car seats (as no car) so that's a big plus for me. Plus the armrest in the middle of newer cabs is designed to be a bumper seat for older children. Black cab drivers are always equally helpful too. Unless Uber succeed in taking over the entire trade and leave me with no alternative they will remain my last choice. That's no judgment of the drivers, just the company.

    @missannie Is there any difference between using Mytaxi or Gett for black cabs? I'm assuming they get the same deal out of it? Happy to switch if Gett is fairer to drivers.
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