It is no secret that Uber has faced a variety of unfortunate events over the past four years, but in recent days the ride-hailing company has managed to come out with a provisionary victory. With a mission statement of bringing transportation for everyone everywhere, Uber has expanded beyond ride-sharing into everything from food delivery to bikes. But over the last few years, the $70 billion company has had a reputation of breaking the rules and regulations in many cities and has had to publicly re-invent its image after some questionable decisions made by then CEO Travis Kalanick and various scandals that made international news, such as its sexist working culture. Now the new man in charge Dara Khosrowshahi has gone on a very public apology tour, which might have proven effective when looking at the battle Uber has had to fight in London.
Back in September of 2017 Uber lost its license to operate in London. Uber’s had a list of allegations that included data breaches, driver misconduct, amongst other misjudgments of how situations should be handled, all played a role in why the Transport of London disapproved of the ridesharing company. Uber’s hiring procedures as it pertains to vetting drivers and reporting of crimes, not to mention Uber’s blatant disregard for the required regulations of London, all played a significant role in the TfL’s concerns when it came to evaluating Uber’s place in its city. Is the ride-hailing service safe for the residents and visitors of London? How can it be regulated and how can the people of London be protected if Uber does not follow local regulations? Is Uber a rogue company?
Ultimately Transport of London decided to grant Uber London Limited a 15-month license due to their latest improvements and efforts to adhere to London’s regulations. It also fined the transportation company £425,000 in court charges, a small price to pay to operate throughout a hub such as London. Uber’s new leadership team, restructure of company policy and procedure, and rebranding lead by CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, has significantly impacted how not only the public views Uber but also at how city regulators view Uber. According to testimony given by UK general manager Tom Elvidge, in 2012 Uber London had a mere 300 drivers, in 2018 that number has grown to 48,000 registered drivers with just under 3.6 million riders. It seems with numbers growing like that; cities also benefit from having the service available in their towns, as long as it follows proper protocol for the safety of each city’s citizens.