New fares and a welcome mandatory introduction to 2023

When you write a speculative story about how life in the city could be more manageable and modern, you expect to be waiting a while before seeing any results.

Back in May when asked whether card readers should be made mandatory in the city’s black cabs, we wondered what form the response would take.

Well today (13 September) Manchester City Council has issued a press release explaining its plans to - you guessed it - make card readers in cabs mandatory.

Here it is in full, for your perusal:

It’s a key priority that people are able to pay through a range of means when using this kind of service to get home

Manchester City Council’s Executive has approved plans that would provide additional support to the Hackney Carriage trade.

For a number of months the Council has been exploring additional measures that could benefit drivers working in Manchester.

Given the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, as well as the lingering impact of the Covid Pandemic, the taxi trade in general has endured a difficult few years.

Recommendations made to the Executive include:

• Making acceptance of card payments in Hackney carriages mandatory

• Increase the unit cost per mile on all tariffs by 8%

• Increase the waiting time fare by 23%

• Increase the Day flag tariff to £3.40

• Increase the Night flag tariff to £3.80

This would mean the current price of a two mile journey would increase from £7 to £8.20, or from £9.20 to £10.30 during the nighttime or on a public holiday.

These recommendations have been compiled following input from the GMB and Unite unions to help understand the nature of the current Hackney Carriage trade, and to help the Council formulate a policy that is fair for both operators of Hackney Carriages driver and customer.

Following this approval, a consultation on the proposed changes will run through to the end of September, with a view to implementing changes during October (dependent on any objections being received).

Councillor Lee-Ann Igbon, Executive Member for Vibrant Neighbourhoods said: “We are aware that recent years have been incredibly difficult for our Hackey Carriage drivers and vehicle owners. This is why we’ve looked at what changes could be made to ensure this trade remains a viable one. Last year we extended the acceptable age limit for vehicles in the fleet to 15 years to assist vehicle owners.

“However it was important that this policy change was balanced to ensure that consumers are still able to pay a fair price for this service.

“We’ve also looked to address a common issue raised with us, that Hackneys do not universally accept card payments. It’s a key priority that people are able to pay through a range of means when using this kind of service to get home. We are particularly conscious of women’s safety, and following the launch of our Women’s Night Time Safey Charter, we want to remove barriers which could stop a women from getting home safely."

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