Campaign launches to fund driver-owned Uber alternative

Campaigners are planning to set up a driver-owned taxi firm and ride-hailing app

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched by the New Economics Foundation to set up a co-operative alternative to Uber.

It is proposing CabFair, a driver-owned minicab firm and ride-hailing app that will provide an ethical, co-operative alternative to Uber. The service will put drivers and customers in control of the co-op through an ownership and governance structure that ensures they have strong voices to guide the enterprise’s strategy.

Stefan Baskerville, principal director for unions and business at NEF, said: “This September, Transport for London announced it would revoke Uber’s licence because it was not a ‘fit and proper’ company to run taxi services in the capital. The prospect of Uber losing its licence places a once unthinkable alternative on the horizon: a new ride-hailing app, owned by its employees and which gives a fair deal to both drivers and passengers.

“Together with trade unionists, tech partners and passengers, we are at the core of a group of socially minded people who know they can build something better than Uber – a driver-owned alternative that is just as convenient and competitive on price but treats its passengers and drivers with respect.”

The campaign is aiming to raise £30,000 so it can:

  • Research the technology, legal framework, financial models and experiences of other taxi coops internationally.
  • Co-produce with drivers and passengers a blueprint for creating and running CabFair.
  • Develop a viable business plan.
  • Engage with key political and regulatory decision makers.

The blueprint and business plan will provide the vital foundation for launching a new driver-owned alternative to Uber in London, according to the campaign’s fundraising page. It also aims to share its research to help others around the world to replicate the model.

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