Uber has been granted a two-month extension to its provisional license in London, with an application for a full license rejected by authorities for the second time in as many years, according to The Guardian.
Transport for London (TfL) first rejected Uber’s license renewal in September of 2017, saying it was not a “fit and proper” private car service, citing “a lack of corporate responsibility” and its impact on passenger safety. Following a court battle, Uber won a 15-month provisional license in July of 2018, which was set to expire this week.
“Uber London Ltd has been granted a two-month private hire operator license to allow for scrutiny of additional information that we are requesting ahead of consideration of any potential further licensing application,” according to a spokesperson for London’s transport authority.
The new license will continue the terms of the original provision license, which called for an independently verified report every six months, three non-executive directors appointed to Uber’s board, advance notice given to TfL of any changes to the company’s operations, and reports to the Metropolitan police of any criminal complaints from passengers.
Uber has said it has improved its operations in recent years, with new safety features for passengers and protections for drivers. And TfL acknowledged that its earlier decision not to provide a full license had forced Uber to make improvements to its culture and governance.
But in July, the company was fined £28,800 for drivers that had been operating without insurance and for inadequate record-keeping.
Uber is also now facing stiff competition from rivals like Ola, Kapten, and Bolt, in one of the world’s largest markets for taxis. The limited license could interrupt business as the busy Christmas season approaches.
A spokesperson for London Mayor Sadiq Kahn said the mayor “has been crystal clear that in London it doesn’t matter how powerful and how big you are, you must play by the rules.”
And Steve McNamara, general secretary of London’s Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, said:
“Over the last 15 months Uber was supposed to change its operations for the better, but the firm has continued to shirk its responsibilities. The granting of the shortest operator’s license ever shows the mayor doesn’t trust Uber, and neither should Londoners. It’s time the mayor pulled the plug on Uber’s immoral operation for good.”
Photo by Mike Malone [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]