“Back to Black” video launched by the #StayFareMayor campaign to promote the London Black Cab trade
Today the London Taxi trade, 4 April 2016, have launched an action plan to guarantee a faster, smarter and greener future for London’s Black Cab trade. Leading players in the taxi industry have put their differences to one side for the greater good and joined forces for the first time to support a clear framework for the future.
Supported by all of those with an interest in improving London’s taxi service, cab drivers, tech companies and manufacturers outline their plan to modernise, improve customer service, greener vehicles and create a sustainable future for the trade.
The ‘Back to Black’ campaign has launched a video on YouTube to help raise awareness. Black cab drivers have rerecorded Amy Winehouse’s hit song Back to Black, with new words encouraging people to go “back to black”. Reworking the Camden singer’s track was supported by Winehouse’s father Mitch, a black cab driver and performed by Emily Stratford, with lyric changes by Tay Plain.
Steve McNamara, LTDA said: “What we are launching today is London’s taxi revolution, a guarantee to make the best taxi service in the world even better. Faster, Smarter, Greener is our offer and our ask of the next Mayor of London.
“The traffic in central London has to flow better and move faster, we must continue to adopt new technologies including apps, wifi and contactless to ensure we are smarter. Coupled with the right investment in infrastructure, such as rapid charging points to support the introduction of the new zero emissions taxi by 2018, we can make London the world’s first zero emissions taxi city.”
Backed by a £300m investment from the London Taxi Company in a new vehicle and new factory and having been digitally enabled by apps like Gett and Hailo, the London taxi service has already begun to transform. The trade is dedicated to its customers, providing 100% accessibility and card payments for all by October, and, with a zero emissions capable vehicle on the streets by 2018, London has the opportunity to lead the world in green technologies.
Securing the future of the iconic taxi service is vital to London’s success as a sustainable city. This is why the taxi trade is calling for action in four key areas:
- Modernisation –a pilot project for ultra-fast wifi, a new zero emissions capable vehicle on the road in 2018 and all taxis taking card payments by October 2016.
- Better for the Passenger– make journeys faster by giving Transport for London the power to manage traffic volumes in central London; ensuring the highest quality service; and clarity for the customer in Black Cabs and minicabs.
- London’s Green Revolution – make zero emissions London a reality by providing the right support and infrastructure to enable drivers to maximise the potential of the next generation Zero Emissions Capable taxi as it launches by 2018.
- Towards a Sustainable Future –fully integrate London taxis into London’s transport policy, ensuring the 100% accessible service connects with the 24 hour tube and is underpinned by detailed understanding of road and traffic management policy.
Peter Johansen, CEO, the London Taxi Company said: “London acts as a beacon for cities around the world and the next Mayor has the opportunity to enact an ambitious policy agenda to ensure that our city remains a world leader in technology, service and on the environment. This means there are real choices to be made for the next Mayor to keep pace with London’s ever changing transport challenges.”
He added, “We have to avoid gridlock and keep the traffic moving, day and night. Customers have to be confident in the quality service they receive, whether in a Black Cab or a minicab, and Transport for London needs to have the traffic information to manage London’s road network as well as fully integrating the Black Cab into its policy making process.”
The London Taxi trade understands the scale of the challenge to ensure that it remains best in class. That is why the leading representatives of the trade are driving this policy revolution. The #StayFareMayor campaign brings together the London Taxi Company, the LTDA, the LCDC, Unite Taxi Branch, RMT Taxi Branch and technology companies Gett and Hailo.
The campaign recognises the need for a serious and long term approach to London’s roads and Taxi policy. The industry has always had the problem that the taxi trade UK-wide isn’t a vote winner with politicians or in London’s case, City Hall.
With Boris on the way out of City Hall the trade is hoping for a new approach by whoever enters City Hall as the next Mayor and will get behind the campaign to deliver a faster, smarter and greener taxi service for London.