Uber Lost Its License In London — And Now Many Female Riders Are Speaking Out

"I feel safer in an Uber."

Transport for London, the integrated transport authority responsible for delivering London Mayor Sadiq Khan's strategy and commitments on transport, announced via a statement on Twitter on September 22 that as of September 30 ride-sharing company Uber will be stripped of its license to operate in England's capital. 

According to the statement, which you can read in its entirety below, Uber is not "fit and proper" to maintain its license because its conduct demonstrates a "lack of corporate responsibility" with regards to reporting criminal offenses, how medical services and certain checks are obtained, and the reluctance to properly explain a software program that puts certain safeguards in place. 


Assault cases involving Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing apps are becoming increasingly common, and according to WhosDrivingYou.org, there have been hundreds of documented cases of alleged sexual assaults and harassment incidents by Uber and Lyft drivers around the world since mid-2013. But, according to The Atlantic, there's little to no data comparing rates of assault in ride-shares and in taxi cabs, meaning this may be an issue the entire industry needs to work to solve.

And, as Mashable pointed out, many Londoners have taken to social media to express that they actually feel safer in Ubers than the tube, the city's traditional black cabs or taxis because the app provides a detailed route and information about the driver that's not available in regular cabs. Multiple women have even claimed they've been assaulted or held against their will in a black cab, but never in an Uber. 

Others took a more pragmatic approach explaining that Uber is typically much less expensive than taking a black cab, and operates 24 hours a day:

And although the TfL is in part claiming that Uber is losing its license because of a failure to treat its employees fairly, many brought up the point that said employees — many of whom are immigrants and minorities — will now be left without jobs.

Per TfL's initial announcement, Uber may appeal the loss of its license and continue to operate until the appeals process is complete. CNBC reports the company has already launched a petition and plans to appeal the ruling.


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