A new app that enables users to hail black cabs and licensed taxis has launched in the UK and Ireland in a bid to combat increased competition from car-sharing services such as Uber.

Cab:app works in a similar fashion to Uber, allowing customers to hail a cab to their current location using an in-app map, but it also lets passengers pre-book journeys and decide before travelling whether to pay by cash or card and track driver location when they are en-route.

the map screen in cab:app
(cab:app)

Since launching in the UK, services such as Uber have been criticised as being unfair competition, with black cab drivers in London and around Europe accusing the service of side-stepping some licensing rules.

The app was co-founded by London taxi driver Peter Schive, who said: “Cab:app draws on the heritage and expertise of the black cab industry and translates it for the digital world. It connects communities through a business model that is driven by rewards where drivers, passengers and charities all share in its success.”

“Cab:miles” are collected on each journey taken using the service, and these can then be used to pay for future journeys, or their monetary value can be donated to charity. Journey prices are also fixed for travel over eight miles, the firm says.

The pre-booking screen in cab:app
(cab:app)

“Cab:app ensures the public can now enjoy the convenience, safety and accessibility associated with the iconic black cab from one national app.

“Black cabbies offer unparalleled local knowledge and service with the assurance that passengers are getting a fully licensed, vetted and insured cab that can use bus lanes and take the most direct route.”

The app has taxi coverage in more than 90 locations around the UK and Ireland, and can be downloaded for free on both iOS and Android-powered smartphones.