Uber gets 30-month license to continue operating in London

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Uber has been granted a license for 30 months – or two and a half years – to keep its ride-sharing services operational in London, according to a BBC report. It marks the end of a long battle with the city’s transport agency, Transport for London (TfL), over Uber’s safety protocols.

“We are delighted to announce that @TfL has awarded Uber a new 30-month license in London,” Uber announced in a tweet Saturday morning. “TfL rightly holds our industry to the highest regulatory and safety standards and we are pleased to have reached their high bar.”

Uber first lost its license to operate in London in 2017 after TfL accused the company of demonstrating “lack of corporate responsibility” with “potential public safety implications”. He cited the company’s shortcomings in reporting criminal offenses, background checks on drivers, obtaining medical certificates, and also referred to Uber’s alleged use of Greyball, software that hid the ride-sharing service to regulators.

The company then won a 15-month appeal in court, only to have its license revoked 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 “historic failings”. Over the years, Uber has added a number of safety features, including an in-app panic button, a way for riders to report unsafe behavior to their drivers, and the ability for drivers and passengers to record audio during trips.

Uber last year lost a legal battle in the UK over the employment status of its drivers, forcing the company to start classifying its UK-based drivers as employees, awarding them the salary minimum, paid holidays and other benefits.

“As we continue to serve London, we remain focused on raising industry standards across the board,” Uber added. “This includes giving drivers the benefits and protections they deserve, ensuring all Londoners can get around safely and becoming an all-electric hub by 2025.”

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