Uber loses license to operate in London

By Doug G. Ware  |  Updated Sept. 22, 2017 at 1:23 PM
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Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Transportation officials in London announced Friday that the operating license for ride-sharing giant Uber will not be renewed beyond September.

Transportation for London said in a statement that it decided not to grant a renewal for when Uber's license expires Sept. 30.

"TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license," the agency said. "TfL considers that Uber's approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications."

The agency listed four main concerns: Uber's reporting of "serious" criminal offenses, its handling of medical certifications, how it obtains driver background checks and its failure to explain the use of "Greyball" -- software that can shield the Uber app from law enforcement and regulatory actions -- in the British capital.

The expiration of Uber's license means London's 40,000 drivers in the city will not be able to operate. Such a cessation of operations in one of the largest cities in the world would represent a major setback for the company.

In response to Transport for London's announcement, Uber launched a petition on Change.org, which by Friday evening, London time, had more than 270,000 supporters.

"This ban shows the world that London is far from being open and is closed to innovative companies, who bring choice to consumers and work opportunities to those who need them," the petition read.

"The 3.5 million Londoners who rely on Uber to get a safe, reliable and affordable ride around the best city in the world will be astounded by the decision to ban Uber from the capital."

The company is expected to appeal the decision, which would allow Uber to continue operating until the appeal is resolved.

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