Contactless payments made a mandatory option for taxis in St Albans District
All taxis operating in St Albans District will have to accept contactless payments and can no longer be cash only.
The rule is intended to improve public safety by ensuring people are not left stranded because they do not have cash.
It follows to a growing number of complaints from people who were unable to get a taxi late at night because they only had a card.
The decision to make a contactless payments option mandatory was made by St Albans City and District Council, which licenses taxis within its area, after consulting with taxi drivers and their representatives.
Taxi drivers will have until Wednesday 3 May to comply with the new regulation by equipping their vehicles with card machines or they risk losing their licence.
The machines are able to take contactless payments from mobile phone apps such as Apple Pay as well as bank cards.
Councillor Raj Visram, Chair of the Council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee, said:
Many taxis carry card machines already, but there are some that still choose not to.
We felt there was clear support for making contactless payments a mandatory option as more and more people no longer carry cash.
We live in a digital age and this new rule not only recognises that, but will also improve public safety by ensuring people are not left in a vulnerable situation by not having cash to pay for a taxi home.
This change will also be good for the local taxi trade as those drivers who chose to be cash only were missing a lot of business.
The Council licenses taxis classed as either hackney carriage or private hire vehicles that operate within the District.
Hackney carriages can pick customers up from anywhere in the District including designated taxi ranks and from the street after being flagged down.
Those licensed to operate in the District are identifiable by their colours of white with a yellow stripe, the only exceptions being some black London-style cabs.
Private hire vehicles have to be booked in advance for specific journeys.
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