Uber Expelled from London
Transport for London, the regulatory body that oversees London’s transportation, has rejected Uber’s application for a new five-year license in the city, deeming the American company not ‘fit and proper’ to operate.
In a press statement, Transport for London said: ‘Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications.
These include its approach to reporting serious criminal offences, its approach to how medical certificates are obtained, [and] its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained’.
Simultaneously, TfL spurned criticism on the company’s use of Greyball software, which Uber has historically used to evade regulatory monitoring. When a user attempts to hail a ride with a credit card that is associated with governmental or policing agencies, Greyball alerts the company to potential law enforcement activity.
Uber’s current license expires on the 30th September. However, they have twenty-one days to appeal the decision, and can continue to operate until the end of that period.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, declared his support for TfL’s decision. ‘I want London to be at the forefront of innovation and new technology and to be a natural home for exciting new companies that help Londoners by providing a better and more affordable service’ he said.
‘However, all companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect –particularly when it comes to the safety of customers. Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.
I fully support TfL’s decision – it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety and security.’
Uber criticised the decision and how it reflected on the city of London, ‘show[ing] the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies’. They state that they will appeal immediately.
Today, 3.5 million Londoners use Uber, which provides employment for over 40,000 licensed drivers.
We’ll continue following this story as it evolves. Keep reading the blog for more.