Quite a Change: Uber Loses London License

Florida Uber Driver Helps Save Man's Life After Ride to Bridge

Following Uber's failure to get its London private hire operator licence renewed after September 30, the ride hailing app company's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has apologised via an open letter.

Londonl's transportation regulator on Friday deemed Uber unfit to operate a taxi service and decided not to restore its license to operate, which will end this week, mentioning the company's approach to reporting major criminal offenses and background checks on drivers.

He referred to a case where an Uber driver was allowed to continue working despite an allegation of sexual assault, leading to another more serious attack on a woman in his vehicle. "Even though there is a legal process in place, I have asked TfL to make themselves available to meet with him".

Reacting to the petition reaching more than 500,000 signatures, Mr Khan said: "I know that Uber has become a popular service for many Londoners - but it would be wrong for TfL to licence Uber if there was any way this could pose a threat to Londoners' safety or security". The heavy-handed and regressive decision to try and banish Uber from the capital's streets is a slap in the face for the millions of Londoners who chose the service, and a potentially devastating blow to the 40,000 drivers who rely on it to make a living.

Uber are to appeal the decision and TfL have said they will allow the company's 40,000 drivers to continue running until this process is exhausted.

As we reported last week, Transport for London-the city's regulator for subways, buses and taxis-said it won't renew Uber's operational license. Khosrowshahi said in the letter that the company would still appeal the decision "with the knowledge that we must also change".

According to the Press Association, the Mayor of London "welcomed" the apology.

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The outcome also has financial implications for Uber at a time when its backers are in talks involving a potential $12 billion stake from SoftBank Group Corp. and other investors.

Following the ruling, Uber now has 21 days to put forward an appeal, which will be heard by Westminster magistrates' court.

Transport for London's announcement Friday states that the company will not receive a license renewal.

Previously, Uber was made to admit that it used Greyball, a secret program to avoid law enforcement. Experts say Uber's less intense scrutiny of drivers' criminal and medical backgrounds gives the company a substantial edge over standard taxi companies.

"I have every sympathy with Uber drivers and customers affected by this decision, but their anger really should be directed at Uber", Khan added. But he also invited Khosrowshahi to meet with TfL.

"If you play by the rules you're welcome in London, if you don't, don't be surprised if TfL takes action against you".

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