"I urge the people of Liverpool to support their local economy and think twice before booking a taxi that might have come in from another city."
The Eat Out To Help out initiative has seen restaurants across Liverpool fully booked each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during August. As a result taxi drivers have seen a surge in bookings since the scheme launched three weeks ago.
Com Cab, the city’s largest operator of black cabs has reported a rise in bookings of a fifth, week on week compared to July.
The taxi sector has been one of the hardest hit during the pandemic. Many drivers have not been entitled to government support, and at the outset of lockdown some had to return their leased vehicles. The 20% rise in bookings has been a welcome shot in the arm. Karen Long, general manager explains:
‘Some sectors are just surviving, not thriving at the moment. The drop off in taxi business had been at critical levels. With school runs, tourism and hospitality all shutting down, passenger bookings plummeted. The Eat Out To Help scheme has been a green shoot in our recovery. And now we can’t wait until September when the schools open and drivers pick back up the Local Authority work that will get even more drivers back on the move.”
ComCab drivers are self employed and small businesses in their own right. The firm’s taxis are licensed in Liverpool, and driven by local cabbies. Private hire and other out-of-town drivers are not able to register for ComCab work. Karen continues:
‘As the city gets on the move we are seeing a good number of passengers using taxis because they don’t feel comfortable on public transport. Black cab is the safest form of public transport due to the driver being separated by a screen and the use of card payments. I urge the people of Liverpool to support their local economy and think twice before booking a taxi that might have come in from another city.”