From Austin to Italy, countries and cities all around the world have, in recent years, taken a stand against the taxi-service behemoth, Uber. Uber’s attitude to employment conditions, safety and tax has become too much for many places and now London is banning Uber as well. Arguably, the most high-profile location to ban the app which gets 30,000 downloads a week in the buzzing British capital. A petition to save Uber has gained over 800,000 signatures whilst an article by The Telegraph found that 43% of Londoner’s supported the ban showing just how divisive the decision by TfL is.
So how did it all begin? Uber’s App launched in San Francisco in 2011 and rapidly spread to 633 cities worldwide like a virulent disease. Regardless of your opinion towards the London Uber Ban, the “Uberisation” of transport has provided huge positive employment opportunities and technological advancement particular in the mapping and self-driving sectors of research.
At our recent Crowdoscope Launch Event, we created a project surrounding the Uber Licensing Ban asking audience members to share their views on the decision by TfL to not renew Uber’s license to operate within the capital. It prompted a spectrum of responses from many regarding it as a “political point” and others supporting the decision saying that “uber must abide by the same rules as everyone else”. Even participants within this study that do not have the Uber App had an opportunity to weigh into this debate that has created headlines all over the globe.
Of the Top 10 rated comments on our “Uber Licensing Ban” Crowdoscope, 9 of these comments supported the decision by TfL to ban Uber citing that the taxi company should comply with the same rules and regulations as every other business. Half of the top-rated comments suggested that if Uber was to change its work ethic, then TfL should reverse the ban and allow Uber to operate on London’s streets.
The top comment currently for our study is:
“If Uber haven’t complied with TfL’s requirements, then it’s fair that they had their license pulled. If they did comply, then I expect uber to take the legal route and have the ban removed.”
The future of Uber in London is uncertain but for many this is a victory against capitalism and the exploitation of low-wage employees. For others, this is the oppression of competition preventing swathes of Londoners accessing affordable taxi services. Whatever your opinion in this fierce debate, the fight between Uber and TfL will continue for many months to come as Uber appeals the decision.
To have your say on the Uber Licensing Ban you can access the Crowdoscope here.