Ouster of Uber from London not justified, says United States commerce Secretary

Wilbur Ross Secretary of the US Department of Commerce answers a question during the Concordia Summit in Manhattan New York US on Tuesday. — Reuters

Wilbur Ross Secretary of the US Department of Commerce answers a question during the Concordia Summit in Manhattan New York US on Tuesday. — Reuters

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But Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, said: "If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport".

Business group London First said TfL's ruling "will be seen as a Luddite decision by millions of Londoners and worldwide visitors who use Uber", and would damage London's reputation as a global tech hub.

In an email sent to staff about London's decision, Khosrowshahi said he was "hugely disappointed in the decisions by London's Mayor and Transport for London".

More than 460,000 signatures have been added to Uber's petition on Change.org titled "Save Your Uber in London" as the company prepares to appeal against the decision.

"All companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect - particularly when it comes to the safety of customers". In light of those declarations, Khan stated that although he remains a supporter of innovative enterprises, safety and security of the citizens is of utmost priority.

A ban on operating in one of its largest markets would hit Uber's bottom line.

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London's transport authority has revoked the license for taxi app Uber to operate in the British capital, and Londoners are freaking out.

Under the UK's Private Hire Vehicles Act of 1998, Uber now has 21 days to appeal and can continue to operate until that process expires.

Al Jazeera's Nadim Baba, reporting from London, said that at first glance, TfL's decision looks like bad news for both the company and for those 3.5 million people in London who use Uber.

Only in two cities across the region - Berlin and Athens - does Uber offer rides with officially licensed taxi drivers which allow passengers to hail UberTaxis as they pass on the street. Uber has used such petitions in the past and successfully overturned regulatory decisions by driving public opinion.

Responding to the petition, Fred Jones, Uber's United Kingdom head of cities, told the BBC: "I think people realise that this decision by the mayor and Transport for London is actually because they have caved to pressure from a small number of individuals and groups that want to protect the status quo and reduce consumer choice and competition from London".

"As soon as we were made aware we immediately stopped this licensed private hire driver from being able to use our app".

The online ride-hailing pioneer said it still operates in 96 European cities but has largely withdrawn its UberPOP service that relied on drivers without commercial licenses after court rulings against it in many jurisdictions going back years.

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