Leaked documents reveal proposed tough new regulations suggested by TfL. It may soon curb all Uber taxi and vehicle hire users in the nation's capital city.
Important: This article contains an update about how the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Uber drivers are workers.
Many see the latest developments as a potential threat to taxi and rideshare schemes in London, United Kingdom.
The new proposals came as a shock and a disappointment to one London's most lucrative business startups - the Uber car ordering app.
So, what would happen even when taxis and vehicle hires are readily available?
Simply put, Uber taxi users might be forced to wait five (5) minutes for their ride if the new Transport for London (TfL) regulations go ahead as planned.
Leaked documents hint they may also incur a minimum wait time. Details put forward in the new rules could also impact city wide taxis and private hire vehicles.
If new TfL proposals become law, there may be other restrictive features for cab users in the city to follow. The TfL draft documents indicate that:
Transport for London has become a hot button issue of cab regulation. It has already caused a series of protests by black cab drivers throughout the year.
The regional manager for Uber United Kingdom commented on the issue.
"These bureaucratic new rules will not improve your ride. The aim addresses the concerns of 'black cab' drivers. Hence, the drivers feel under pressure from increased competition.
But, the ideal answer is to reduce the onerous regulations cabbies face today. They should not increase them for everyone else."
Transport for London's initial consultation attracted thousands of responses during the summer months. It could now pave the way for an increased oversight of the industry by TfL before the end of 2015.
It might include:
Note: Transport for London (TfL) did not respond to questions or make any comments at the time of the original publication.
Transport for London rejected Uber's application to renew their licence. TfL based the rejection on Uber not being a 'fit and proper' private car hire operator. Even so, the latest estimates suggest Uber has 3.5 million users.
As a result, stripping Uber of its London licence came as a surprise move to most. It dealt a serious blow to one of the fastest rising companies from Silicon Valley.
It also sparked an outcry from some government ministers, a coalition of customers, and the drivers at the ride-hailing company.
Uber has a licence to operate until the 30th of September 2017. The company plans to challenge the ruling by London transport authority through the courts.
In short, the ruling means the ride-hailing company can continue to operate in the capital until it exhausts the appeals process.
On the 19th of February 2021, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Uber drivers are classified as workers in the United Kingdom.
Despite ending a long-running legal case, the landmark judgment may pose significant implications for the gig-economy and those who work within it.
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Note: The short video explains how the Uber driver app works and how to use specific features in the system.
Transport for London Regulation Proposals Threaten Uber Taxi Users in Britain