The Transport for London (TfL) and the city’s mayor announced a decision that shocked the country and even the world. They said that the city would no longer allow Uber to operate there. Uber an online hailing taxi had become popular in the city. Before the ban, it had more than three million users. Also, there were more than 40, 000 drivers working for the company.
The TfL cited four key concerns that led it to make the decision. They include the approach used by Uber to report criminal activities and the way it conducted background checks on the drivers it employed. For example, in one incidence an Uber driver sexually assaulted the passenger they were carrying. Instead of reporting the incidence directly to the police they notified the TfL. Notifying the TfL instead of the police made the investigations to be lengthy. Also, the company did not fire the driver who committed the crime. The driver stayed and later committed another serious attack.
The firm’s operation in the country has not been a rosy affair. Uber’s woes in London started way back when it was launching its operations. A major challenge it faced was the demonstrations held against the organization by the taxi drivers. On June 11, 2014, thousands of black drivers for the company brought traffic to a standstill in different landmark areas in the city. The demonstration was among one of the mass demonstrations witnessed in the city. When the demonstration was taking place, few people were using the application.
The people behind the mass demonstrations were the Licensed Taxi Driver’s Association (LTDA). They claimed that Uber was conducting illegal operations in the city. These demonstrations instead helped Uber to become famous. The downloads of the app increased by more than 800 percent.
Four months after the demonstration the CEO of the company at the time visited the city to launch new option. It was Uberpool, a service that allowed users to split a ride and there reduce the costs that they incurred. The offering made Uber become more popular. By the end of 2015, the firm employed more than 20,000 drivers and served more than a million customers.
However, there is still light at the end of the tunnel for Uber. The mayor urged the company to address the concerns, and they could consider renewing its license.