A ban on Uber in London was instituted last year when it was unable to renew its license in the city. The reason?
“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,” according to Transport for London.
The “number of issues” the TfL took may include the claims of sexual harassment and discrimination within the company, as well as escalating concerns about passenger safety.
However, a judge decision in June reversed the ban on Uber in London.
While Uber had made some policy changes before the recent ban-reversal, including instituting a mandatory break after 10 hours of work and reporting more incidents to the police rather than leaving it up to passengers and drivers, the probationary license requires the company to institute even more changes. Now Uber is required to provide training for its London drivers, and will undergo an independent review every six months.
But the TfL aren’t the only ones Uber needs to appease. Last week, The Licensed Taxi Driver’s Association (LTDA) began drafting a suit that would award compensation to its 25,0000 members who claim to have lost earnings since the arrival of Ubers in London. If the suit moves forward, Uber could pay London cab drivers 1.25 billion.
Regarding the London Uber ban, Mayor Saiq Khan said, “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.”
Despite its problems, Uber has found massive success in London. The company boasts 40,000 drivers and 3.5 million users, which isn’t too far off from New York City’s 65,000 Uber-affiliated vehicles.
It’s clear that Uber is changing the way people get around in cities across the globe, and the impacts of this company on the earnings of taxi drivers are readily apparent. What remains to be seen is if London lawmakers will ultimately favor Uber and its hordes of loyal app-downloaders, or the more traditional, time-tested black cab.