Uber has been granted a 30-month — or two-and-a-half-year — license to operate its ridesharing services in London, according to a report from the BBC† This marks the end of a protracted battle with the city’s transport agency, Transport for London (TfL), over Uber’s safety protocols.
We are pleased to announce @TfL has granted Uber a new 30-month license in London. TfL rightly holds our industry to the highest regulatory and safety standards and we are pleased to have met their high bar.
— Uber UK (@UberUK) March 26, 2022
“We are delighted to announce that @TfL has granted Uber a new 30-month license in London,” Uber announced in a tweet on Saturday morning. “TfL rightly holds our industry to the highest regulatory and safety standards and we are delighted to have met their high bar.”
Uber first lost its license to operate in London in 2017 after TfL accused the company of demonstrating “a lack of corporate responsibility” with possible “implications for public safety and security”. It cited the company’s failings when it came to reporting crimes, providing driver background checks, obtaining medical certificates, and also addressed Uber’s alleged use of Greyball, a software that hid the ride-hailing service from regulators. .
The company later won a 15-month appeal in court, but was withdrawn again in 2019 after TfL said the company was still not “fit and proper” to operate in the city. In 2020, a judge granted Uber a license to operate in London for 18 months, despite the company’s “historical flaws”. Over the years, Uber has added a number of safety features, including a panic button in the app, a way for passengers to report unsafe behavior to their drivers, and the ability for drivers and passengers to record audio during rides.
Last year, Uber lost a legal battle in the UK over the employment status of its drivers, forcing the company to classify its UK-based drivers as employees, granting them minimum wages, paid holidays and other benefits.
“As we continue to serve London, we remain focused on raising industry standards in all areas,” Uber added† “This includes giving drivers the benefits and protection they deserve, ensuring safe travel for all Londoners and becoming a fully electric platform by 2025.”