Latest on Uber in London | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

Latest on Uber in London

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Since Transport for London announced it was revoking Uber’s licence to operate in London, there have been many different responses.  Here are some of the latest highlights:

The company’s new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi has written to the London Evening Standard acknowledging that the company “got things wrong along the way” as it expanded. He said the company will appeal the London decision but will do so “with the knowledge that we must also change.”

More than 600,000 people have signed a petition to save Uber and more than 20,000 drivers have emailed the mayor over the decision.  It has emerged that there has not been a single meeting has taken place this year with the regulator in regard to its licence, it’s understood, in a sign of the diminishing relations between the two sides.

The newspaper City AM has described the TfL decision as “political” saying, “Anyone who has used the app will know that TfL’s decision to ban it on the grounds of safety is bizarre, given that customers can track their ride via GPS and share their location and driver details with friends. The heavy-handed and regressive decision to try and banish Uber from the capital’s streets is a slap in the face for the millions of Londoners who chose the service, and a potentially devastating blow to the 40,000 drivers who rely on it to make a living.

“It also sends a worrying message about the unpredictable nature of regulators (and the perception they may be politically motivated) just at the time when London needs to attract further innovation and investment.”

Meanwhile Reuters reports that key Uber rival Lyft could well be on their way into Britain: “Lyft, Uber’s closest U.S. rival in the taxi-hailing business, met repeatedly with officials from London’s transport regulator over the past year, a sign it may be targeting the city for international expansion,” it reported.

“Transport for London… published details of the meetings with Lyft executives in response to a UK government freedom of information request in July.  If Lyft enters the London market Uber would face its first well-funded competitor in Europe when it is trying to overturn a decision by TfL not to renew its license. Lyft has raised around $2.6 billion in financing, including an investment round of $600 million in April, according to funding tracker Crunchbase.”

Business Insider reports that a poll of Uber drivers found nine out of ten of its British drivers are either “very” or “somewhat” satisfied driving for the Californian transportation firm.  Polling firm ORB surveyed 1,000 current Uber drivers from across the UK for the company, and found that 94% of drivers said they “joined Uber because I wanted to be my own boss and choose my own hours,” and that 88% say “Uber has improved things for drivers” over the last year.

Updates to follow.


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