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Uber announces huge app update in Scotland after taxi shortage and ‘high’ demand

Uber will let people in Scotland book taxis with local cab companies on the app in a huge new update.

The ride-hailing app has partnered with a locally licensed operator to meet the ‘high’ level of demand for cabs in Edinburgh.

The launch of Local Cab is in response to increased demand for taxis in the city amid a nationwide shortage and the need for more travel options.

Passengers in the city can now connect with Capital Cars on Uber – the only taxi firm involved in the Edinburgh partnership.

The Local Cab option will appear when booking a ride alongside other choices including UberX, Exec, Comfort and Lux.

Uber users in Dumfries, Stranraer, East Kilbride and Hamilton can already use the feature which was rolled out in May this year.



View of Edinburgh's Balmoral Hotel from the middle of North Bridge traffic.
The Uber Local Cab option is now in three Scottish cities: Edinburgh, Dumfries and Stranraer

Riders who choose the Local Cab option will not get an ‘Uber’ as such as the driver and vehicle will be from the respective companies in the programme.

In this programme, the local cab operator sets the cost and cashless payment is made via the app as usual, Uber said.

Uber will integrate with Autocab’s iGo network that could connect passengers with up to 80,000 private hire and taxi drivers in the UK.

The Local Cab pilot was the first time the tech companies worked together since Uber reached an agreement to acquire Autocab in August 2020.

Director at Capital Cars, Stephen Rose, said: “We look forward to making Local Cab available to the people of Edinburgh.

“We feel that now, more than ever, a product like Local Cab is needed – with demand for taxis continuing to rise and passengers in need of more options.”

Ash Kebriti, UK General Manager at Uber, said: “Edinburgh will be the first city where riders can access both UberX and Local Cab in the same app.

“We think it will be a win-win for both riders and drivers, giving passengers more choice and providing more earnings opportunities for drivers as they meet the high levels of demand in the city.

“We’re looking forward to launching Local Cab in more UK towns and cities soon.”

How to use Uber’s Local Cab feature

  1. Open the Uber app the usual way.
  2. Enter your trip details.
  3. Choose Local Cab from the drop down.
  4. An estimate from a local cab operator is displayed.
  5. When you make your request, Uber will locate a local cab operator for you to book with, and send them your contact details to help you complete the trip.
  6. The local cab operator will accept your booking and provide your trip.

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