London Strips Uber's License for Not Being 'Fit and Proper'
The service has been very popular.
Londoners may be saying goodbye to Uber.
London’s municipal transport authority rejected Uber’s application for a new license to operate in the city, ruling that the ride-sharing company is not a “fit and proper” private car-hire operator, according to The Washington Post.
The popular service has been butting heads with London’s quintessentially famous black cabs (which are what yellow taxis are to New York City).
Part of the reason why Uber has been so favored over black cabs? Cost. Most rides in black cabs cost significantly more — a ride from Heathrow Airport to the city can cost a rider twice as much in a black cab than in an Uber.
However, black cab drivers are put through rigorous tests on London’s geography in lieu of relying on satellite GPS apps like Waze or Google Maps in order to get around. The work takes about three years to complete. The black cabs are also highly regulated, requiring all cars to be wheelchair accessible and able to make quick turns.
According to the Washington Post, Transport for London said that it rejected the application to renew the license because “Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility” by not reporting serious criminal offenses, obtaining medical certificates and background checks for the drivers.
There are over 40,000 drivers operating in the London area, and the company intends to appeal the decision before the license expires at the end of September.
Uber said in a statement that the decision would “show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies”.
London Mayor supported the transit authority’s decision, saying, “I want London to be at the forefront of innovation and new technology and to be a natural home for exciting new companies that help Londoners by providing a better and more affordable service. However, 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.”