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Uber begins Scottish taxi invasion, starting in Glasgow

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Uber plans to expand its taxi service into Scotland, launching in the country’s most populated city, Glasgow, in the next two months. The San Francisco-based company has a few other cities on its radar for 2016, including Aberdeen.

The announcement comes after a minor delay; it was originally scheduled for August 2015. Uber confessed that it could not find enough drivers willing to join, but now claims hundreds of private hires are ready to work. Unlike in the U.S., where anyone licensed driver can become an Uber driver, candidates in the U.K. must pass the necessary checks before applying.

Similar to previous arrangements, Uber will take a 20 percent flat cut from all driver’s earnings, and the driver can keep the rest. The driver has to supply the phone and the car, although Uber tends to fork out expenses for a new iPhone for drivers.

The app is already live in Glasgow, letting users add a debit card, address, and check out some of the taxi options that will be available in December.

Mobile penetration in Scotland is around average compared to the rest of the U.K., but lacks 4G support in several cities. Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Dundee have all shown better-than-average penetration. Glasgow is the third largest city in the U.K., so we would expect Uber to make it a priority.

Uber is still unavailable in Northern Ireland or Wales. The Republic of Ireland has one city supported: the capital, Dublin. In England, Uber has set up in eight cities, including London, Manchester, and Newcastle upon Tyne.

London is one of Uber’s most popular cities, with almost as many cab drivers as there are black cabs in the capital. The company recently won a battle against several black cab groups, which wanted to ban the app for using a mobile taximeter.

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