September 22, 2017
Sigh-London Wants to Ban Uber

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Transport for London announced today that Uber’s license to operate in London will not be renewed once its current license expires on September 30, 2017. Transport for London is the government organization that regulates London’s transportation system. TfL says Uber failed to demonstrate that it’s fit and proper to have a private operator license in the city.

I’m not an English lawyer so I don’t know what the legal standard of fit and proper means, but TfL listed the following safety concerns about Uber:

  • Uber’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences
  • Uber’s approach to how medical certificates are obtained
  • Uber’s approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Services checks are obtained
  • Uber’s approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London – software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties.

Uber immediately blamed the decision on “a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice” and said the decision would put 40,000 London drivers out of work. The ride-sharing company has already appealed the case. Uber can continue operations in London until the appeal process is completed, which could take months.

I’m a huge proponent of Uber and use it regularly. It’s much more convenient to call an Uber than wander around the streets in a foreign country to hail down a cab. It’s also cheaper than Taxi’s and it accepts credit cards, which gets me whole lot of credit card points. Disruptive technology always causes friction against established industries, and ride-sharing apps are no different. What are your thoughts on this?