Price war over taxi apps

A price war has broken out across the world among taxi companies. There is increasing competition for passengers because of the different apps that can order taxis. Some taxi companies are cutting their fares by more than half to beat competitor companies. The world’s biggest taxi-booking app is called Uber. It was founded in 2009 and now operates in over 200 cities across the globe. Many drivers of London’s traditional black taxis are unhappy with taxi apps. They argue that drivers of app cabs are too inexperienced to drive taxis in London. Black cab drivers must pass a difficult test on their knowledge of London’s streets to get their taxi-driving license. They have slashed some of their fares from $45 to $7.50. The U.K. boss of Uber said the price war would benefit his company and result in higher profits, saying: „There’s a lot of competition over the app makers and, to a certain degree, you need to think of things that you can do to stand out from the crowd.” London black cab driver Anthony Street says business remains good despite the app companies. He said: „There are lots of technologies that are changing things for us, but it’s up to drivers.” One of New York’s biggest taxi companies has called for Uber to have its license suspended. It says Uber is illegally using data collected from passengers. In Singapore, the government has just announced that it would start regulating taxi app companies.


Exercise 1

Find in the text words which mean:

1. konkurencja
2. opłata za przejazd
3. niedoświadczony
4. licencja
5. przynosić korzyści
6. zyski
7. dane


Exercise 2

Complete the phrases with words from the box:

competition / cut / get / license / order / pass / profits / war

1. price ___________
2. increasing ___________
3. taxi-driving ___________
4. higher ___________
5. to ___________ a taxi
6. to ___________ fares
7. to ___________ a test
8. to ___________ a license


Exercise 3

Complete the phrases with missing particles:

across / from / in / out / over / to / up

1. a war has broken ______
2. it operates in ______ 200 cities ______ the globe
3. to slash fares ______ $45 ______ $7.50
4. to result ______ higher profits
5. ______ a certain degree
6. to stand ______ ______ the crowd
7. it’s ______ ______ drivers


I know English idioms:

In this lesson’s text we read about the price war in taxi business. English people say that business is war and that’s why the English language has a good number of idiomatic expressions related to the topic of war. Let’s study a few of them:

  •  to capture market share zdobyć (dosł. schwytać) udział w rynku
  • to give up without a fight poddać się bez walki
  • to join forces with somebody połączyć siły
  • to reinforce your market position wzmocnić pozycję rynkową


Phrasals, phrasals…

Let’s study these sentences from out reading text:

  • “A price war has broken out across the world among taxi companies.”
  •  “(…) you need to think of things that you can do to stand out from the crowd.”

The underlined fragments are new phrasal verbs. As we can guess from the context of the
sentence the first one means “wybuchnąć”, the second: “odstawać”.


  • Can you think of other things than war that can break out?
  • Do you think that YOU stand out from the crowd in any way?


Grammar corner…

Which word completes correctly the sentence taken out from the reading text: “A price war has broken out across the world among / between taxi companies.”? The first one, of course. What’s the difference then when we say “among” or “between” both of which can be translated as “pomiędzy”? The rule is very simple: between refers to TWO things, while among to MANY of them. So the correct way of translating the words should be “pomiędzy”
for “between” and “pośród” for “among”. As simple as that!



price war – wojna cenowa
app(lication) – aplikacja
to break out – wybuchnąć
increasing – wzrastający
competition – konkurencja
to order – zamówić
fare – opłata za przejazd
half – połowa
to beat – (po)bić
booking – rezerwowanie
to be founded – zostać założonym
to operate – działać
globe – glob, świat
to argue – tu: twierdzić
cab – taksówka (pot.)
inexperienced-  niedoświadczony
to pass a test – zdać test
knowledge – wiedza, znajomość
license – licencja
to slash – obniżyć (drastycznie)
to benefit – przynosić korzyści
to result in – skutkować
profit – zysk
to a certain degree – w pewnym stopniu
to stand out – odstawać
crowd – tłum
to remain – pozostawać, nie zmieniać się
despite – mimo
to be up to (sb) – coś zależy od kogoś
to suspend – zawiesić
illegally – bezprawnie
data – dane
collected – zebrane
government – rząd
to announce – ogłosić
to regulate – regulować, kontrolować


download lesson (pdf)



1. competition
2. fare
3. inexperienced
4. license
5. to benefit
6. profits
7. data

Ex. 2
1. price war
2. increasing competition
3. taxi-driving license
4. higher profits
5. to order a taxi
6. to cut fares
7. to pass a test
8. to get a license

Ex. 3
1. a war has broken out
2. it operates in over 200 cities across the globe
3. to slash fares from $45 to $7.50
4. to result in higher profits
5. to a certain degree
6. to stand out from the crowd
7. it’s up to drivers