Uber Responds to the London Ban

UBER
AUGUST 20, 2017: A wall sized Uber Poster at the pedestrian walk in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Uber is an app-based taxi company headquartered in San Francisco, California (Faiz Zaki / Shutterstock.com)

Uber is willing to make a deal to ensure their ability to license and operate in London.

Tom Elvidge told the Sunday Times they are willing to make concessions. “While we haven’t been asked to make any changes, we’d like to know what we can do.”

Elvidge added, “That requires a dialogue we sadly haven’t been able to have.”

This news comes after Transport for London (TFL) told the ride-sharing app company that it was unfit to hold a private hire operator license.

A TFL spokesman later said a comment would be inappropriate to comment on the decision at this time. However, according to the BBC, Uber has been asking to meet with the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, since his election in May 2016 but those requests have been rejected.

That said, Uber is not taking the decision laying down. More than 630,000 people have signed an online petition to keep Uber operating in London after its license expires on September 30th.

Uber will have 21 days to appeal the decision and can continue to provide services in the city “until the appeals process has been exhausted.”

Why was Uber banned in London?

Uber Investigation
Editorial credit: Pe3k / Shutterstock.com

The TFL argued failures to report serious criminal offenses, insufficient background checks on drivers and other safety issues were among the reasons for not renewing Uber’s operating license. However, concessions such as driver safety and benefits, limits on working hours and holiday pay, may be up for grabs to reinstate Uber in London.

Uber said via on Twitter on Sunday that it would challenge the decision “in the courts to defend the livelihoods of drivers & consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use Uber.”

“Drivers who use Uber in London are licensed by TfL and have been through the same enhanced DBS [Disclosure and Barring Service] background checks as black cab drivers.

“We have always followed TfL rules on reporting serious incidents, with a dedicated team that works closely with the Metropolitan Police.”

It is important to note Uber has very little competition. Despite there being other apps including Mytaxi and Gett, which allow passengers to hail black cabs in London, as well as minicab companies.

Uber in the United States

lyft
BestStockFoto / Shutterstock, Inc.

Following several PR crises by Uber, Lyft has done market share this year, which resulted in the firing of Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick last June. Consequently, Uber’s control of the ride-sharing market dropped from 91% in 2014 to 74.3% in August, according to the BBC. As a result, Lyft’s control int he market rose to 23.4% partly due to Lyft’s marketing campaign as a more responsible and ethical operator than Uber.