Uber rival Lyft eyeing expansion into London market

Sep 27, 2017, 00:31
Uber rival Lyft eyeing expansion into London market

On 22 September 2017, Transport for London ("TfL") concluded that Uber, the ride-hailing app, will not be issued a new private hire licence after expiry of its current licence on 30 September 2017.

The Sun newspaper reported previous year that 32 sexual assault claims were made against Uber drivers in 2015/16, more than a fifth of all claims against taxi drivers filed to British police forces.

Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi has issued an apology to Londoners following the decision by TfL to not renew its license in the city. In the city, the company employs roughly 40,000 drivers, representing one-third of the city's total number of private hire vehicles. The firm can continue to operate until the appeals process is exhausted, which is likely to take several months.

Just one month into his position as CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi is already apologizing to the entire city of London.

Khosrowshahi did not define which mistakes Uber had made in London.

"We will appeal the decision on behalf of millions of Londoners, however we do so with the knowledge that we need to likewise change", he stated.

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Uber now has 21 days, until October 14, to formally appeal the decision.

Uber could continue to operate in London for more than a year despite having its licence revoked by transport bosses.

London's Mayor, who chairs the TFL board, backed the decision.

Uber now has about 40,000 drivers in London‎, and is used by about 3.5 million customers, but its rise has sparked the most significant backlash to date against a major champion of the "gig economy".

The TfL said Uber poses risks to public safety and criticized the company's approach to reporting serious criminal offenses and conducting background checks.

On Friday, London Transport Authority (TfL) chose to withdraw giant's license from private chauffeur-driven cars in British capital.

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Uber was first licensed to operate in the city in 2012 and will see its current license expire on September 30. Sources close to Uber say that the company has been seeking to hold a meeting with Sadiq Khan since he became London's mayor in 2016.

His register of interests shows he remains a member of the GMB, the union representing many black cab taxi drivers and which has led a campaign against Uber. The statement and apology come as Uber prepares its appeal of TfL's decision.

The initial background checks were carried out by a third party but TfL deemed them inadequate following a review.

TfL questioned also the process through which drivers obtain their medical certificates and the practice of "greyballing", when the company uses a fake version of its app to fool regulators in cities where it is banned.

"We want to thank everyone who uses Uber for our support over the last few days", he wrote.

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