Transport for London ( or TFL, the local government agency that regulates transportation in the city) announced this week that they are suspending Uber’s license to operate in the city. At first glance, this headline didn’t strike me as being all that surprising because London has been trying to shut down Uber for years. TFL issued a ban on the service in 2018, but it was overturned by a judge. This is largely driven by objections from the Black Limo drivers, who have a surprising amount of influence. Of course, with more than 3.6 million regular Uber users in the city and roughly 45,000 drivers, the city officials have to be careful how they try to shut them down.
But unlike previous efforts tied primarily to administrative arguments, TFL may have a point this time. The safety concerns they are citing in making this decision, if verified, actually do sound serious. (NBC News)
A key issue identified was that a change to the ride-hailing company’s systems allowed unauthorized drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts.
“This allowed them to pick up passengers as though they were the booked driver, which occurred in at least 14,000 trips, putting passenger safety and security at risk,” the transport authority said in a statement.
This means all the journeys were uninsured and some passenger journeys took place with unlicensed drivers, Transport for London said Monday.