Uber’s London License Revoked Sparks Tension

By Tamanna Desai,
Technology & Innovation Editor

Uber’s current license in London is set to expire on September 30. The company’s renewal application was rejected by the city’s transportation authority.

Concerns were raised to the transportation authority of London (Tfl) that Uber did not “report three sexual and violent incidients over the past year” according to the Financial Times. Furthermore, concerns about Uber using a software called Greyball were raised. Greyball is a software that misleads authorities on the exact location of a device.

In an explanation of the rejection of the license, Tfl stated that Uber was not conducting its background check on employees properly and hence the comapny was deemed not “fit and proper” to operate in London. The mayor of London also expressed his concern for the safety of Londoners who heavily rely on a company that has been accused of multiple scandals recently.

New chief executive of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi, tweeted saying, “Dear London: we r far from perfect but we have 40k licensed drivers and 3.5mm Londoners depending on us. Pls work w/us to make things right”. The executive also sent out an email to employees urging them to work hard as the company fights to build up its reputation.

Currently, a petition is distributed around London asking users to sign it and show the need for Uber to stay in such an important market.

Competitors to Uber such as Mytaxi and Gett are taking full advantage of Uber’s issues. A Bloomberg Technology article stated that, “They cheered London’s decision, with Mytaxi even offering a 50 percent discount to lure the throngs of regular Uber users.” Many loyal Uber customers are sticking with Uber and signing the petition to get the company back in business.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 26th print edition.

Contact Tamanna at
tamanna.desai@student.shu.edu

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