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October 15, 2015

Boris Johnson promotes Uber & black cab level playing field

News: Mayor of London aims to support black cabs despite presence of Uber.

By Charlotte Henry

Boris Johnson has given some words of comfort to both cabbies and Uber during his trip to Japan, accepting that the disruption has happened, but also recognising that the traditional cab trade must be protected.

Speaking at an event for startups in Tokyo the Mayor of London said: “Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, that’s it.”

Johnson also said: "We licensed Uber a while ago in the knowledge that it will prove very difficult for the established black cab trade. We have to make sure that we do what we can to give the black cab trade a level playing field.”

The comments outline his vision to manage the dirsuptive technolgy, instead of banning it, as has happened in other cities such as Paris.

Uber has been under increasing pressure in London, with mounting protests, and moves by Transport For London to restrict its business. The proposals include elements such as a minimum five minute wait time, which would severely hamper Uber’s attempts to get drivers to passengers as a soon as possible.

The Mayor will be having meetings on a variety of tech topics, including fintech, during his three day trip.

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