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  • Writer's pictureChris Mads

How to survive the Uber catastrophe

We all knew it was going to happen, but in 2017 the world has officially ended.

In a turn of events which caught everyone by surprise, this apocalypse has come from a rather unexpected source. It is not the nuclear tackle-measuring contest between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un or the impending political implosion of Brexit, nor the rise of the alt-right or constant threats of terror. No, the end of the world has come at the hands of a taxi app.

That's right folks, Uber's contract in London has been revoked. To the uninitiated, Uber is a mobile phone app which allows you to call a Prius-driving cabbie to pick you up and take you wherever you need to go. It is faster and cheaper than the classic black cab and has, as a result, been very unpopular in certain corners.

Anyway today that reality is under threat. Before getting too excited, Uber has the right to appeal the decision and will not be going anywhere until the appeal process is exhausted. But, assuming it all goes ahead, here is how to survive the potential upcoming travel apocalypse.

Be prepared For the millennials among us Uber is the way we know to travel around London at night. Stripped of the ability to call a car to us with our phone (Addison Lee and Cabby might beg to differ) we face the prospect of being stranded in the middle of a metropolitan hub with no way to get home. Fortunately, London has a well developed homeless network and infrastructure. Remember to take warm layers, a hat and a neck pillow with you at all times and you can crash out wherever you like. Stash a matcha green tea bag in your bag too and you can have an invigorating hot drink after your literal night on the tiles.

Stay out all night

Ok, sleeping out doesn't suit your idea of a good night? May I suggest no sleep at all then. You will be surprised by how much of London stays open until the early hours, with McDonald's and other food outlets providing warmth. More to the point, it provides the chance to explore bits of London you would not normally get to see without crowds. Want to climb the lions at Trafalgar Square but afraid you'll fall off in front of everyone? Not at 4.30 in the morning.

Take a Tube Do you remember the Tube? That hot sweaty place you used to go with your parents as a kid when you headed into London. Occasionally you might use it for your daytime commute. You know the one, underground tunnels, fast moving trains, grumpy people and escalators that don't work. Well take a seat because this will blow your mind: it works at night too. Five of London's Tube lines now do 24-hour service on Fridays and Saturdays - as long as staff aren't on strike. Night be worth a shot.

Board the bus

You've seen Harry Potter so you know what a night bus is. It's a magical vehicle which turns up and takes you anywhere (a bit like Uber actually), but there's other wizards on board and Lenny Henry talks out of a weird voodoo skull at you. For the muggles among us there is a less flexible (in every respect) version, which has fewer comic voices and a usual aura of urine and vomit.

Don't drink If you don't drink it means you can drive yourself to and from the party. That is as long as you don't mind paying a month's wages for parking and giving all your pissed mates a lift home too.

Ask the mafia for help

Luckily for us, Twitter has uncovered the source of this whole Uber debacle - the Black Cab Cartel. These individuals are manipulating nighttime travel in the city to ensure you are forced to take a black cab or mini cab. This is like Uber but you have to flag them down or call them. And they then get to charge you an arbitrary amount for the journey, having kicked off by charging you £6 to pick you up in the first place.

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