Transport for London on Monday announced that it had revoked Uber’s license to operate private taxis in London after it had been discovered that anonymous Uber drivers conducted more than 14,000 trips using the company’s system.
The agency announced its decision not to renew the company’s license after a two-month probationary time it had been granted in September. Uber was instructed to enhance its checks on its drivers, their insurance and their vehicle safety, but has failed to live up to the demands.
TfL pointed to a “pattern of failures” by Uber, and issued a statement saying: “Despite addressing some of these issues, TfL does not have confidence that similar issues will not reoccur in the future, which has led it to conclude that the company is not fit and proper at this time.”
TfL said Uber switched to a system that allowed unauthorized drivers to upload their photos to other drivers’ accounts in at least 14,000 trips, where someone who was not an Uber-sanctioned driver picked up passengers – while no one in the company had any idea who they were.
According to The Guardian, some of the trips were conducted by drivers whose licenses had been revoked, including one driver who was distributing indecent images of children.
Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe, said in a statement: “On behalf of the 3.5 million riders and 45,000 licensed drivers who depend on Uber in London, we will continue to operate as normal and will do everything we can to work with TfL to resolve this situation,” after the company will appeal the decision, which Heywood called “extraordinary and wrong.”
Have a safe ride…