Black cabs can now take Oyster type cards

London cabs are being equipped with an Oyster-card style payment system from today.

It allows passengers to pay for journeys by simply touching readers with their Visa contactless cards. A total of 80 cabs will use the system as a trial, accepting payments of up to £15.

Visa said it was hopeful thousands more will sign up to the service before 2012.

“This will end the inconvenience of not being sure if you have enough money for a cab home,” said David Goodridge from Visa.

The system will use a reader and a screen explaining the system mounted behind the driver. It is based on one that has been used in New York for several years.

For journeys over £15 customers can use the device as a normal chip and pin reader. Figures show the average London black cab fare is £12.

The system also gives users the opportunity to put a tip on their card. Mr Goodridge said: “It’s often a case of a tip being whatever change you have — now it is built into the system, and in New York we saw that tips actually increased.

“We’ve worked very closely with the 80 drivers we are trialling this with. Some cabs already take cards but it doesn’t work very well.

“This new system makes taking card payments integral to the cab. We think it will make people more likely to take a cab because they know they’ll be able to pay by card.”

Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor’s transport adviser, said: “It’s fantastic to see our iconic black cabs leading the way with the latest in 21st century technology.

“More and more passengers are keen to pay for taxi journeys by card, and this makes the whole experience more efficient.

“I am delighted that London’s taxis are leading the way with this new type of technology, making taxi payment less taxing and allowing passengers to relax and enjoy the banter with our world-famous London cabbies.”

John Mason, Transport for London’s director of London taxi and private hire, said: “Year after year, London’s taxi service is rightly voted the best in the world, and any initiative that further provides alternative payment options for passengers is welcomed.”

Mark Prigg, Science and Technology Editor 08/12/10

source London Evening Standard

One Response to “Black cabs can now take Oyster type cards”

  1. colinthecabby says:

    My god,john mason has actually said that the london taxi is the best in the world,SO WHY ARE THEY WORKING AGAINST US.

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