Uber May Be Disappearing From London Shortly

Uber continues to deal with the potential extinction of its London business.  After a years long battle with London regulators, Uber has again lost their license to operate in London.  They have 21 days to appeal the decision not to extend their license.

Uber License In London Not Extended

Transport for London, the oversight authority in London for taxi cabs and hired cards, originally revoked their license in 2017.  They were allowed to continue operating at that time but had a list of improvements they needed to make to retain their license.

According to the New York Times, Uber was granted a 15-month extension to their license in 2018, shorter than the standard 5-year term.  However, Transport for London didn’t think Uber had done enough in those 15 months to grant further extension of their license.

Safety is the biggest issue concerning the transportation authority.  Numerous media outlets are reporting that there were thousands of instances where drivers were able to fool Uber’s driver authentication system.  This allowed unauthorized drivers to complete over 10,000 trips.  Transport for London viewed this as a serious enough issue to prevent their renewal at this time.  Uber did announce immediate plans to appeal.

Image courtesy of chrisimages/Bigstock

The Final Two Pennies

London is an extremely lucrative market for Uber.  It’s also a market where they’ve faced fierce opposition from traditional black cab drivers.  In my experience, London’s taxi service is one of the more organized and reliable network of taxi cab services.  Other major cities like New York, Washington, DC and Chicago have a lot of distance to cover to catch up to the reputation of the London system.  Competitors to Uber continue to operate in the London market at this time.

As a business traveler, I rely frequently on Uber’s Black service for drivers with local knowledge, clean cars and professionalism.  Security issues that allow unauthorized drivers to operate on the platform are serious and need to be addressed.  Everyone should want to have confidence that their vehicle is being operated safely.  If you’re traveling to London in the near future, have a backup plan for transportation.

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