A taxi revolution is underway in Nottingham – with new-look eco-friendly hackney cab vehicles and a new user-friendly app set to be unveiled in the city from 1st March.
Nottingham City Council is taking steps to make the city’s hackney cab fleet one of the best and most modern in the country. Having already introduced a Driver Improvement Penalty Point Scheme to drive up standards for passengers, the council will be placing orders for a small number of stylish new Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) models and investing in supporting charging infrastructure.
A smart new black-and-white livery will replace the existing green cabs, as well as for the first time allowing full wrap advertising and new digital media on the cabs. The aim is for all 411 hackney cabs in the city to be ULEV or Euro VI by 2020 to help the city achieve air quality standards and support any potential Clean Air Zone. Some of the cabs will have free Wi-Fi, mobile phone and laptop charge points.
Accompanying the introduction of new vehicles is the roll-out of a new hiring app for Nottingham’s hackneys. The City Council has teamed up with MyTaxi which allows passengers to book a hackney from their smart phone, use cashless payment and have their journey and driver logged – making it easier and safer for everyone. They also have some very vivid and fun graphics to put on the cabs that are sure to make them stand out from the crowd.
MyTaxi are the leading taxi app provider in Europe and operate in over 70 cities. London currently has almost 18,000 drivers signed up to the app and Nottingham will be the first city outside London to get the new service. The company intend to roll-out to other cities this year making it easier for passengers to move about more freely.
Hackneys will still be able to be hailed in the street or caught at one of the city’s taxi ranks, while minicabs will continue to need booking in advance.
The council is carrying out a range of activity to make it appealing for taxi drivers to convert to ULEV – with fuel cost savings of up to £100 a week a big incentive:
- A dedicated taxi charge point network in eight locations will start to be developed across the conurbation from this spring
- A bus lane exempting ULEVs along Daleside Road will be complete soon
- Some ULEV only taxi ranks and a drop-off point in the new Broadmarsh car park are being considered.
Portfolio Holder for Community and Customer Services, Councillor Toby Neal, said: “For too long, taxis have been the poor relation in Nottingham’s integrated transport network. That’s all changing now, with better customer standards, smart new vehicles and a brand new app to make it safe and easy for modern passengers to use the city’s large fleet of hackney cabs. This is a really exciting transformation of taxi services in our city.
“It means we will no longer have cabs churning out exhaust fumes while sitting in the rank, so it benefits everyone in the city, not just taxi passengers. It ties in with our investment in the tram system and in one of the largest fleet of green buses in the UK to help improve the air quality in Nottingham. The new app will really help to bring hackneys into the 21st century as it gives passengers a great deal of confidence about journey safety as well as making it simple to book a cab.”