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Disruption or decline, what’s next for the black cab?

15 May 2017

Steer Davies Gleave hosts yet another successful Movement Matters event in London focused on the future of the black cab.

The black cab is an iconic image of London, but recent technological advances and changes in the Taxi and Private Hire market have meant that it faces an uncertain future. As part of our Movement Matters series, we brought together three industry experts to debate whether the black cab faces decline, disruption or both.

Key people in the Taxi and Private hire market, government and other related industries joined a high-profile panel of experts at Blue Fin Venue in central London last Wednesday morning, for an insightful breakfast seminar where attendees shared a discussion regarding the future of the black cab.

Mike Goggin, Director at Steer Davies Gleave, chaired the panel and was joined by Thomas Moody, TfL’s Head of Policy and Service Deployment; Matteo de Renzi, Gett UK’s Chief Executive; and Matthew Clark, Steer Davies Gleave’s Associate. These three expert speakers spoke about potential responses to new transport technologies and how these technologies and integration in the wider transport network may shape the future of the industry. This discussion was followed by a Q&A with the audience.

A complete summary of the session and the insights shared can be downloaded here

Movemement Matters UK

Movement Matters UK

The first speaker was Tom Moody, Head of Policy and Service Deployment for Transport for London (TfL). He offered an overview of the challenges and opportunities facing the industry from TfL’s point of view. 

Matteo de Renzi, CEO of Gett UK presented next. His experience at Gett has given him an insight into how taxis can use evolving technology to their advantage.

Matthew Clark, Associate at Steer Davies Gleave, presented last and explored the future of the black cab now, in the near future and the in-between stage.

The Q&A after the presentations focused on what TfL as a regulatory body can do to create a more holistic modelling of transport services, while integrating data from PHV and data that other mobility providers have collected in the recent years.

Key themes

Three common themes emerged from the presentations and the Q&A discussion:

  1. It is clear that the black cab offer is differentiated and evolving, with new payment methods now in place, and a new breed of environmentally-friendly vehicles soon available.
  2. There is disruption in the black cab market but, by building on existing regulatory infrastructure and the capabilities of the vehicles, and positively capitalising on technological advances, this may not necessarily lead to a decline.
  3. There remains an opportunity to retain the black cab as an iconic London facet in the future, but this is likely to require improved integration with other modes for journey convenience, and an accompanying review of broader Taxi and Private Hire regulation as the market evolves.

DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT

A more detailed summary with explanations on each of the presentations can be accessed here. Images of the event can be viewed here.

If you are interested in attending one of our future Movement Matters sessions, please visit www.movementmatters-sdg.com for more details.

About the author

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SDG
We believe that transport can change the world. That's why we've spent over thirty years investing in pioneering transport planning techniques and developing the skills of our specialist staff.

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