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Bournemouth’s Uber-Competitive Taxis

By Carmella Haswell

Bournemouth’s largest taxi firm might face new competition with the future launch of Uber.

United Taxis could face a rivalry, as app-based taxi service Uber plans for a future launch.

Uber is a service that allows customers to choose their ride, set their location and track their driver, all from an application on their smartphone.

Payments are done through credit card, so there is never a struggle to rummage around for change.

If unsatisfied with the service, all you have to do is rate your driver on the Uber app.

As impressive as it sounds, there could be rivalry with one of Dorset’s largest taxi companies, United Taxis.

Derek Heritage, director of United Taxi admitted that the launch “will affect [the company] but we are prepared to up our game.”

Mr Heritage plans to improve their current service to compete with other companies, adding: ‘We will issue set fairs in the next few weeks and we will provide a better app.”

However, local residents have pledged to continue supporting and the current taxi service.

Bournemouth University student, Phoebe Brunnock uses this service twice a week and will continue to do so, even after the arrival of Uber.

She said: “It’s reliable and affordable, especially with a student discount that they offer.”

Some people have expressed concern about Uber’s reputation.

Miss Brunnock added: “People can book taxis easily with the app, but I’ve have heard dangerous stories about Uber drivers, which pushes me towards staying with United Taxis.”

However, it appears there could be quite a wait before the new competitor comes to town.

Uber spokesperson Harry Porter said: “In order to launch we need two things, firstly an operator license from the council and secondly, a team of local people to run the business on the ground.

“As such we don’t really have a time frame of when we might launch.”