London, EN — The Transport of London recently announced the decision not to renew the ride-hailing company’s license beyond midnight tonight.
According to reports, the ride-hailing company allegedly does not meet the “fit and proper” requirements for private hire operators. TfL said they made the decision after uncovering “several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk”.
In fact, TfL claimed that Uber’s computer systems allowed more than 14,000 unauthorized drivers to pick-up passengers. Investigators revealed that these ‘fake’ drivers manipulated the app’s systems by uploading their photos to other Uber driver accounts. Hence, all of the 14,000 of those trips were uninsured.
Furthermore, at least six drivers who were either suspended or dismissed by Uber were able to create new accounts to continue working.
TfL then told Uber it needed to address issues with checks on drivers, insurance and safety. However, the app has failed to satisfy the capital’s transport authorities.
While TfL acknowledged Uber’s several positive improvements, the transport agency “does not have confidence that similar issues will not reoccur in the future”.
Moreover, the decision will not stop Uber’s service in London immediately. Uber has 21 days to lodge an appeal and can continue to operate during any appeals process.
Meanwhile, Uber described the decision as “extraordinary and wrong” and vowed to appeal. “On behalf of the 3.5 million riders and 45,000 licensed drivers who depend on Uber in London, we will continue to operate as normal and will do everything we can to work with TfL to resolve this situation.”
General secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers, Steve McNamara, expressed his support for the Mayor’s decision.
“As far as we’re concerned Uber’s business model is essentially unregulatable,” he said. “It is based on everyone doing what they want and flooding London with vehicles. Uber cannot guarantee that the cars are properly insured, or that the person driving the car is the one that is supposed to be driving, as recent incidents show.”
This is not TfL’s first attempt to cancel Uber’s license. Last September of 2017, TfL refused to give Uber a five-year license. However, a judge overruled the agency’s decision and granted Uber a 15-month license.
Andy McDonald, the shadow transport secretary, said: “Innovative technologies have an important role to play in our transport networks. But endangering passengers, tax avoidance and a crisis of low-pay is not a price worth paying.”