Uber lost its license to carry passengers in London on Monday. According to Reuters, this is the second time in two years Uber has lost its license. The suspension was issued due to continuing concerns over the ride-hailing company’s ability to keep passengers safe.
- Uber’s license to operate in the city of London was suspended.
- The suspension is the result of continued concerns over passenger safety.
- Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision.
Regulatory agency Transport of London (TfL) decided the suspension was necessary after unauthorized drivers were able to upload their photos to authorized Uber accounts. As a result, a driver other than the one advertised picked up passengers on at least 14,000 trips in the city.
The wrong photo was shown in the Uber app as the driver of over 14,000 Uber trips in London. (Photo: Getty Images)
Ongoing safety concerns
All those trips were uninsured and, in some cases, involved unlicensed drivers. At least one of the drivers had their license revoked by TfL. In another instance, drivers who were dismissed or suspended were able to create Uber accounts and carry passengers.
While Uber addressed these particular issues, the concern is that these passenger safety breaches continue to occur. It’s the pattern rather than any one instance that TfL sees as a problem big enough to warrant a suspension. It has no confidence that Uber will be able to prevent continued safety lapses that put its passengers at risk.
Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision, which it plans to do. In the meantime, nothing changes for customers. Uber will remain on the streets of London and will continue to be available as usual throughout the entire appeals process. That keeps Uber’s roughly 45,000 drivers at work indefinitely while TfL determines whether or not Uber is truly safe.
WHY THIS MATTERS
The safety of ride-hailing services like Uber is under constant scrutiny. Continued lapses that put passengers at risk will make it harder for Uber and any other ride-hailing services to operate. It could also erode public support for ride-hailing and threaten the future of the business model.