London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that Uber and other private hire taxi operators will now be required to pay the London congestion charge if they want their vehicles to enter the city center on a weekday. These companies were previously exempt from paying this charge but will now be required to pay up as the mayor continues his drive to improve air quality in the British capital.
“We have to make tough decisions to protect the health and wellbeing of Londoners and tackle harmful emissions from the most polluting vehicles,” the mayor said.
Drivers entering London’s central zone on a weekday have to pay a congestion charge of 11.50 pounds, that’s almost $15. The central zone covers the city’s business district as well as many tourist sites.
The congestion charge was previously not required from private hire firms but with taxi apps putting more cars on the streets, regulator Transport for London is now looking to reduce the number of cars on the city center’s roads.
Uber has not yet commented on the matter so it’s unclear how this charge will be handled by the company. Whether it will pass on the cost to riders or to the over 40,000 drivers that use its platform to ferry people around in London remains to be seen.