The following is an excerpt from by KATIE COLLINS & KENT GERMAN | October 5, 2017 | cnet.com |
A few blocks behind the Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe theater is a place few tourists, or even Londoners, ever see. Keep going past the Tesco Express and through an unmarked driveway to reach a car park jammed with black cabs.
It's one of the last spots in all of London where drivers of the city's famous taxis can have a rest, get their cabs washed and buy parts at an adjacent store. If they're hungry, there's a cash-only cafe in what looks like a double-wide mobile home. Open 24 hours, the Great Suffolk Street Taxi Cafe is a place for comfort food and conversation.
London cabbies are famous for being opinionated. These days, Uber is a popular topic.
After Transport for London (TfL), the British capital's transport regulator, refused on Sept. 22 to renew Uber's license to operate, we visited the cafe to see what cabbies thought of the news. We were expecting elation, but the reality was a mix of defiance, quiet resignation and "bring it on." To many of the drivers, Uber, which arrived in London in 2012, is destroying a proud and historic tradition that plays a vital and iconic role in the city's life. Competition is fine, they say, but fair competition is not what this is.
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