The San Francisco-based company says residents and visitors to the county town had opened the Uber app almost 6,000 times in September 2021 despite them not being able to book a ride with them.
But Uber has been working behind the scenes on links with local cab companies in six towns and cities across the UK since earlier this year. And today it made public its link-up with Shrewsbury Taxis.
Anyone opening the Uber app in Shrewsbury will be presented with the Local Cab option, which connects them with Shrewsbury Taxis.
Uber says the local cab operator sets the cost, and cashless payment is made via the app as usual. Uber will be taking what it calls "a small service fee" on each Local Cab trip.
Uber is already present in 40 UK towns and cities but it is looking to work with local operators "in order to meet growing demand for trips."
Matt Young, Director at Shrewsbury Taxis, said: “We’re proud to bring Local Cab to the people of Shrewsbury. This provides another way for customers to book with us – and for anyone visiting Shrewsbury that already uses the Uber app, Local Cab will make it easy for them to book a ride with a local operator.”
Ash Kebriti, Uber's UK General Manager, said: “The Local Cab pilot has proved to be a success for local operators, riders and local economies.
"Local operators have seen increased demand for trips and are now actively recruiting new drivers, which is having a positive impact on the local economy. We are now excited to roll the product out to more towns and cities across the UK.”
Uber’s app will integrate with Autocab’s iGo network, which has the potential to connect passengers with 80,000 private hire and taxi drivers in the UK.
The Local Cab pilot marked the first time the two technology companies have worked together since Uber reached an agreement to acquire Autocab in August 2020.