London Transport Authority Rejects Uber's Operating License

A petition organized by Uber against London's decision not to renew its operating license has gathered 500,000 signatures, little more than 24 hours after the decision was announced, a website monitoring its progress showed on Saturday.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a Labour politician who has criticized Uber in the past, said he backed the decision to reject its application for a new license.

"They have a lot more scrutiny on them now", said Reed Galen, a political consultant who worked with Uber on a campaign in Austin.

More than 600,000 people had by Sunday signed a petition asking London transport authorities to reverse their decision not to renew Uber's licence when it expires.

"I want to be absolutely clear that there is a place in London for all private hire companies that play by the rules", Khan said.

"The real reason why we have come to this impasse has been that there is no safety checks on the drivers that meet proper standards, the problem is being hidden from the regulators and they're using really bad practices that could put people in danger".

"Uber operates in more than 600 cities around the world, including more than 40 towns and cities here in the United Kingdom", the company said. "But as Uber's problems worsen, regulators feel emboldened to proceed and rightly sense that it's particularly urgent for them to do so". "In the meantime, I will continue to help support innovative businesses in London and to create a vibrant and safe taxi and private hire market".

So what were Uber's crimes which made them "unfit" for a license? And thousands of Uber drivers in the British capital faced the fear of unemployment.

Mr Corbyn said he was "not sure" if he had ever used Uber "but I don't think so".

Khan said in a statement that it would be wrong "to license Uber if there was any way this could pose a threat to Londoners' safety or security".

Among Uber's possible concessions were giving its drivers employment benefits and imposing limits on drivers' hours to address road-safety concerns, as it does in NY.

The company has been plagued in scandal this year due to mounting accusations of sexism, sexual harassment and regulatory abuse at the company.

Uber is reportedly open to making changes to its safety protocols, according to a report in the Sunday Times.

London's traditional black cab drivers have attacked Uber, saying it has undercut safety rules and threatened their livelihoods. For people in their teens and twenties (and many others), however, the pre-Uber situation was quite grim. The city's black-cab drivers - who spend years learning the city streets to pass the famed "Knowledge" test - objected to the interlopers who undercut their business.

  • Eleanor Harrison