By Mel Dikert
Many of us are familiar with the facility that Uber has brought to our lives. It is a quick, easy and generally cheap way for people to hitch a ride somewhere, and it provides great job opportunities. It has gained a massive amount of popularity over these last few years in many cities and countries around the world. Cities should be jumping at the chance to let Uber operate, right?
London does not seem to think so and has shown its discontent through the revocation of Uber’s licence to work.
According to The Independent, Transport for London (TfL)—the company that oversees a vast majority of the transportation in London—Uber is not “fit and proper.” They stated that the company does not take responsibility for possible security and safety issues. There is some validity in this, as over the years there have been multiple charges against Uber for inadequate background checks on drivers, use of illegal software to compete with local taxi companies and an aggressive work environment. The buildup of negative responses has earned the company a bad reputation and it finally caught up with them.
The Independent goes on to say that, out of all the European markets, London houses the most significant market for the company because it is the largest, but the city was also not the first to ban Uber . The company has had many issues in other major cities. The New York Times explains that in New Delhi, India, Uber was temporarily forced out in 2014 after rape accusations were made against a driver. Uber was eventually granted license to work there again but has since dealt with similar issues.
Most problems that Uber faces in any country seem to stem back to the competition with local taxi drivers and their app, UberPop. Countries like Taiwan and Hungary and cities like Paris, France, suspended either the use of the UberPop app or suspended Uber’s license to operate in general due to beliefs that the UberPop app operated illegally. Bulgaria also banned Uber due to conflicts with local taxi drivers. A similar invent took place in Barcelona, Spain where the protests forced Uber to pull out of Spain until 2016.
The company has fought in many regulatory battles in the United States. Take Alaska: a place where Uber is still banned after arguments over whether Uber drivers were considered independent contractors or registered taxi drivers.
Uber plans to fight back against the London ban but whether or not the company will be allowed to stay still remains to be seen. New Jersey could be the next location to ban Uber.