Uber has been involved in a series of bad luck, peaks and valleys, twist and turn. Today’s dosage of hurdles for the ride-haling corporation comes in the form of a denied hire license by the Transport for London (TfL). You ask, why would the London transport regulator do this, and the answer is that Uber is apparently not ‘fit and proper’ to serve the people of London.
If you think ‘fit and proper’ is not self-sufficient a phrase, you are wrong. TfL backs its stand by stating that the American taxi-hailing app has not been forthcoming regarding how Uber-related criminal offenses are reported, and that the app is barrier to law enforcers and regulators who need to monitor its activities.
The decision is supported by London’s mayor. The city is tough on companies operating in its streets as they need to adhere to the set standards especially where the safety of customers is key. According to the mayor, while Uber has spurred the uptake of online cab hailing, its innovativeness must take safety and security features seriously.
Of course Uber is going to challenge the decision, and has 21 days to do so. However, its current operating license expires in less than 10 days, which is on September 30.
“Transport for London and the mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice,” Uber said. “If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport.”
Uber, which has been used by about 3.5 Londoners and operates in more 700 cities, faces the same problem local taxi-hailing apps are tackling; resistance from traditional cabs that fault ride apps for their low income. In fact, some form of a go-slow has been going on as drivers pin blame on their parent apps for eating into their commissions, as well as unwarranted promotions. Talks are in the pipeline to put such issues to an end.
Uber’s track record about how they handle customer safety is not appealing, coupled with driver background checks and pay. Add that to a series of internal squabbles that saw its founder and CEO resign and you begin to see a company that needs to get its matters together.
Say Uber fails to solve this issue, Londoners will be forced back to the dark days where riders look for drivers manually, a tedious process if you add whistling and beckoning to it. In fact, Taxify was stopped to operate in the same city because it did not acquire the correct license. Wow.
On the bright side of things, Black cabs who operate from a traditional front have an app called Gett that no one has ever heard of.
Now we wait.