London black cab drivers have announced that the additional $500million of funding that has just been awarded to the ride hailing app Lyft would not be enough to convince them to make a journey south of the River Thames.
The additional funding round, led by Alphabet’s CapitalG, is an extension of the $1 billion round announced in October, but it would still not be sufficient to convince most London cabbies that Elephant and Castle isn’t situated in another hemisphere according to a statement released by the Taxi Drivers’ Association.
Black Cab Driver and North London resident Mr. Brent Cross said, “Don’t get me wrong, $1.5billion is a lot of money, but it ain’t enough to make me go south of the river after about 8 o’clock at night. If I’ve done a full shift since 6am, the last thing I want is to be driving around the Old Kent Road when it gets dark. I don’t know what it is, but they’re just not like us lot up in North London and the air’s a bit funny down there as well.”
Transport experts had hoped that the development of autonomous vehicle technology would lead the way towards a relaxation of the time-honoured principle that black cabs don’t go south of the river, but this idea has faced stiff resistance from cab drivers who have pledged to develop their own form of self-driving technology that will involve hailing a passenger, bundling them into the back of the cab and then telling them what their destination will be.
London cab drivers have stated that a $1.5billion investment in their industry would do much to help it modernise by updating vehicles to comply with the requirement for lower fuel emissions, but it’s generally believed that this amount can easily be made up by simply picking up a few naïve tourists from Heathrow Airport and placing the meter on the highest setting.
“North London’s got Arsenal football club, the south’s got Woolwich Arsenal train station. Buckingham Palace is in the north, Crystal Palace is down south. The north is blessed with Hampstead, Peckham has the Nags Head. There’s a very good reason why we don’t ever want to go south of the river,” Mr. Cross added.