Not so popular: Uber to lose license in London

Farah Javed, Copy Chief

After being banned in many countries, Uber now cannot operate in London.

Uber lost its license to operate in London due to incidents that threatened the safety of the riders, thus not living up to the expectations.

In 2018, 95 million people used the Uber app on a monthly basis and this number continues to grow, according to Stastica.com.

Though utilized worldwide, the ride-sharing app closed down due to various reasons varying from being banned to not being able to live up to the taxi laws in countries like Denmark, Australia, Turkey, Hungary, Bulgaria, China, Italy, France and the Netherlands.

Now, London is the latest to terminate Uber’s operating license.

Their main grievance with the company was that “drivers sidestepped rules by colluding with authorized drivers to pick up riders under their account.

At least 14,000 trips were conducted by at least 43 drivers using the workaround.” This indicates that drivers not vetted by Uber were driving passengers under the accounts of other people, The New York Times reports.

It is the same concept as catfishing, where someone poses as someone else, and this can often lead to dangerous or deadly situations.

In the gig economy, this phenomenon is known as account spoofing. Uber has suffered from this issue for a while now, the company fell victim to a security breach, resulting in a leak of employees’ Social Security numbers and licenses, according to Forbes. 

Employees had their identities stolen and unidentifiable people were driving app users, risking the passengers’ safety. London also stated Uber as a cause for stagnation in the formerly flourishing taxi industry, which began in New York.

New York taxi drivers spend big amounts of money to buy yellow medallions or taxi driving permits.

Until Uber’s creation in 2014, drivers were able to recuperate the spent money quickly, as taxis were the only cars allowed to provide rides for a fee.

With new ride-sharing apps, the taxi industry is dying as medallions are devalued. The drivers also struggle to make the final payments for their medallions.

In the same way New York’s taxi drivers are suffering, the taxi drivers all around the world, in every country that it exists.

Though Uber itself supplies jobs, the actual rideshare market is limited, so Uber drivers steal rides away from established licensed city drivers, like in London.

Starting in 2015, Addison Lee, a private London-based taxi company, was forced to cut about 90 jobs due to failing to succeed in such competition.

“New corporate data shows the number of new taxi companies in the U.K. fell by 97 percent in the first four months of 2016,” according to a report in The Financial Times. With London revoking Uber’s license, it is giving its black taxi wcabs the lift they need to recover. In the meantime, arguments continue on whether the existence of Uber should continue in other cities.