On Friday, more than 3 million London commuters learned that they would soon have fewer options for the commute home, after the city’s transport authority announced Uber will no longer be allowed to operate within the sprawling capital’s city limits.
“TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license,” Transport for London said in a statement, citing a range of concerns with the ride-sharing app, from its history of reporting serious criminal offenses to its policies on obtaining background checks for its drivers. Uber’s current operating license expires in eight days, after which the app will no longer be permitted to operate within the city. TfL, however, said Uber would have three weeks to appeal the decision, during which time the company may continue to operate.
The leader of London’s Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association praised the transport authority’s decision, as did London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who noted that “providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.” Tom Elvidge, Uber London’s general manager, accused the city of attempting to restrict consumer choice. “Not only will this decision deprive you of the choice of a convenient way of getting about town,” Elvidge said in an email to customers, “it will also put more than 40,000 licensed drivers who rely on our app out of work.” The email did not make mention of the safety concerns raised by the city.