The York Council will decide on 21st December whether to extend the license of UBER hire cars to operate in York for 5 years. The company has been operating with a 12 month temporary license.
A report to a Licensing Committee meeting says that only 3 local UBER drivers have been in operation but a significant number of drivers from other City’s have been operating in York.
The main difference between UBER and other private hire companies is that they are summoned by a customer using a smart phone app.
Uber, which is available in 60 countries, charges a base fare of £2.50 as well as 15p per minute and £1.25 per mile. This is without “surge pricing“, which increases the cost at times of high demand – on New Year’s Eve, for example
Typically UBER quote £4-£6 for a lift from the York Hospital to the Railway Station You an check by clicking here.
Strangely the Council report does not include details of local York UBER fares. They are contained in a private annex.
Uber was issued with a private hire operator’s licence on the 24th December 2015, having satisfied the Licensing Authority that the application met the statutory requirements.
Uber did not physically start operating in York until 9 September 2016. At this time Uber had 3 private hire vehicles and drivers licensed by this Council working through their York licensed operators site. There are presently 10 vehicles.
The Licensing Authority therefore has only experienced four months of Uber operating within the City.
Customers are most likely to be concerned that they have a safe journey and that fares are reasonable.
Since the Uber launch 110 complaints have been received relating to hackney carriage and private hire vehicles/drivers. 72 of these complaints relate to Uber vehicles/drivers, only one of which relates to an Uber vehicle/driver licensed by this Council, the other 71 relate to vehicles/drivers licensed by other authorities.
Uber have provided the following information:
- Applicants who are not already licensed as a private hire/hackney carriage driver were required to provide a basic disclosure, criminal record check, from Disclosure Scotland.
- appropriate public liability insurance and employer liability insurance, if they have employees, annually.
We suspect that booking taxis and hire cars using mobile apps will be the norm in future.
How quickly the idea will catch on in York remains to be seen.