This insane stat shows how Uber is taking over London
Johnson said: "We need to let competition rip. However, the profusion of minicabs means that of the cars entering the congestion zone now, 1 in 10 are minicabs because of Uber. Two years ago it was about 1 in 100."
The congestion zone is the area of central London that drivers must pay to enter, an initiative meant to reduce traffic. Cars are monitored using a system of cameras, meaning its easy for the Mayor's office to track what type of vehicles are entering the city centre.
Johnson added: "The number of minicabs on the streets has gone up from about 40,000 or 50,000 when I was elected to more than 80,000. That tells you that's going to cause congestion."
Official stats from regulator Transport for London and elsewhere show:
- There are 88,950 licensed private hire drivers in London right now, up from 59,000 in 2009/10.
- Uber says it now has 20,000 drivers registered on its platform, the company told Business Insider. That is a phenomenal level of growth - zero to 20,000 in three years.
- There are only about 22,500 black "Hackney" cabs in London, and that number has risen from only 22,168 in 2013.
- Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick said last year he hopes to have 42,000 registered drivers in London by March 2016.
- Transport for London forecast the number of minicab drivers will rise to 128,000 over the next two years.
An Uber spokesperson told Business Insider that 4,500 Uber drivers are on London's roads at any one time.