Today Uber is seen as one of the hippest forms of transport in London, and is building a reputation for being cutting edge and a cheaper alternative to taxis. But are people actually forgetting many of the already existing forms of transportation around the capital that are actually cheaper than Uber? Here we take a look at some of the obvious ones that you may be nonetheless overlooking, as well as some that you might not expect or have heard of.
[W]alking – Doctors are always saying we need more exercise, and they also say that walking is the best form of exercise. What more reason do you need to put on some comfortable shoes and follow your nose (and quite possibly your trusty GPS-enabled smartphone) to your destination? Walking is of course also absolutely free, and gives you a chance to see more of London.
[C]ycling – With a growing network of cycle paths and cycle highways, London is becoming an ever more bike-friendly city. With so much traffic in London you’ll also find that you’re often able to zip through stationary traffic while your four-wheeled brethren are left cursing. This is London though, so just remember the lock and the helmet.
[B]us – OK you may have to put up with sitting next to someone smelly or passively absorb the tinny soundwaves coming out of someone else’s headphones once in a while, but at £1.45 for a journey anywhere in London and at anytime you can’t really get any cheaper. Night buses are relatively easy to catch if you’re heading back from a night out, and if you run out of money on your oyster you can get an emergency fare.
[U]nderground – The faster, more expensive sibling of the bus is still considerably cheaper than Uber most of the time, particularly if you have an Oyster card. If you’re doing a lot of travel to different locations over the course of the day, you’ll also benefit from daily fare capping. True the Tube doesn’t currently operate throughout the night, but a 24-hour ‘Night Tube’ service is to be launched at weekends in September of next year.
[R]ide sharing with a friend – Uber likes to refer to its services as ‘your friend with a car’, but the fact is you probably have an actual friend with a car who would be happy to share journeys for a bit of petrol money.
[K]abbee – Kabbee is a smart-phone taxi app like Uber, but instead of hooking you up with private taxi drivers it enables you to compare prices and other factors for minicab services in London. According to the manufacturers, the app can provides taxi journeys for up to 70 per cent cheaper than black cabs. Editor’s note Oh! Really.
[E]mirates Airline – No, not the actual airline, the pseudonymous cable car that crosses the Thames, linking Greenwich to the Royal Docks. Get on at either end as needed, and if you’ve got and Oyster card it will cost you just £3.30 per journey. True the journey options are somewhat limited, but you’ll be treated to some fantastic birds-eye views of the capital. And not a traffic jam in sight.
[M]aaxi – Maaxi is a recently launched app which enables you to share your black cab ride – and the associated fare – with a number of strangers who are heading in the same direction. Unlike Uber, it only uses black cabs, and has unsurprisingly gained the support of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association.
[H]ailo – With minimum fare costs of between £8 and £15, hailing a black cab through the Hailo app is unlikely to be cheaper than Uber if you’re travelling just a short distance. But if you’re doing a trip to the airport or out to the suburbs it may just work out cheaper, particularly at times when Uber applies its mysterious ‘surge charge). Because the app is automatically hails a taxi close to your location it’s also often much quicker.
[R]oller-skating/blading – Okay, it’s not for everyone, but roller-skating certainly is a fun way of getting around the city. It’s also free, once you’ve got the skates.
Guest Post from Marc Loud a partner at Park Insurance, for over 30 years of experience who cover a range of specialist sectors including taxi insurance.