What's Really Going on with Uber in London

US-based taxi-hailing company Uber has indicated that it is open to discuss concessions with transport authorities to continue operating in London, days after it lost its license to ply on the streets of the UK's capital. It was also not satisfied with Uber's approach to reporting serious criminal offences, its approach to how medical certificates are obtained, and its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained.

Meanwhile Reuters reports that key Uber rival Lyft could well be on their way into Britain: "Lyft, Uber's closest USA 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 worldwide expansion", it reported.

In a statement addressing the petition, Khan said: "I know that Uber has become a popular service for many Londoners - but it would be wrong for TfL to license Uber if there was any way this could pose a threat to Londoners' safety or security". In the city, the company employs roughly 40,000 drivers, representing one-third of the city's total number of private hire vehicles.

London joins other cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Cape Town in not granting a licence and the decision adds to woes for Uber's new boss Dara Khosrowshahi following a string of controversies.

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Last week, Transport for London (TfL) rejected the ride-hailing company's application for a new licence on the basis the company was not "fit and proper" to operate in the capital.

Mr. Khan has reacted positively to the apology in the day by Mr. Khosrowshahi, three days after the decision-and the shock of TfL not to renew the license of the company cars with chauffeurs, private in London, including for security reasons. Uber's petition to "save your Uber in London" has more than 765,000 signatures. The concessions of Uber are expected to involve safety for passengers and benefits for drivers including limited working hours and holiday pay. A spokesman for TfL later said that the local government body responsible for the transport system in Greater London "are always available and happy to meet at any time".

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan welcomed an apology from Khosrowshahi on Monday.

Uber is far from alone in this shake-up, but it does stand out for its success in what is now referred to as a 'gig' economy - individuals using technology to facilitate paid tasks.

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The company's license to operate in the British capital expires on September 30.

Uber is London's biggest and increasingly most popular taxi operator with more than 3 million customers and 40,000 drivers now facing an uncertain future.

Uber can continue to operate until the appeal process completes.

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

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And Twitter user she was "annoyed" at the decision as Uber allowed her to get out of "uncomfy" situations if out at night.

  • Kelly Blake