With just over a week left on its current operating license Uber learned today that London no longer wants it around. Transport for London, the regulatory body that licenses private hire vehicles (among other roles) issued a statement that Uber is “not fit and proper to hold a private hire operating license” in the city. The company has a 21-day appeal window; operations may continue throughout the appeal process.
Among the specific concerns TfL detailed against the company are questions about driver qualifications and certification, crime reporting and medical certificates. Perhaps most notable is TfL specifically calling out Geryball and Uber’s use of that technology to evade regulators. It turns out that doesn’t play so well when the regulators have the opportunity to review the license at a later time.
— Rachel Botsman (@rachelbotsman) September 22, 2017
As if often the case surrounding Uber the early responses are a mix between “but that’s the law” and “how will we ever get anywhere again?” as people try to figure out what’s next. And, of course, the taxi union knocks, too.
— Guido Fawkes (@GuidoFawkes) September 22, 2017
As a reasonably disinterested party I find that conversation/debate (though not really either as most are simply talking past the other) intriguing.
— Anthony Davis (@theanthonydavis) September 22, 2017
The fact that the appeal process exists and is detailed in the TfL statement suggests there is a decent chance things shift in the coming weeks. This is likely more an opening position in negotiations than a final ruling on the issue. But the clock is running and Uber is in the hot seat.
— Seth Miller (@WandrMe) September 22, 2017
I will say that it is interesting reading this news in the context of a story out of Chicago bemoaning the rapid drop in taxi ridership and revenue. In that story the claim is made that taxi drivers are better ambassadors for the city. I find such assertions to be ridiculous at best. I’ve done my share of taxis and ride-hailing app drivers around the world. No one has a lock on helpfulness nor jackassery.
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