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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:04 pm 
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Not sure if there's anything particularly new here for anyone who's read other articles, but this seems to summarise the main points.

Full TfL statement below.


Uber loses London licence a second time as it faces exile from capital

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/ ... n-capital/

Uber has lost its licence to operate in London for the second time in two years as it faces the prospect of a ban from the capital over concerns it put “passenger safety and security at risk”.

The ride-hailing company had its licence renewal denied by Transport for London on Monday, meaning it faces a fight to keep its operations and app running in one of its largest cities.

Uber has time to appeal and its service, which includes 45,000 drivers, will not immediately be blocked. The company called the decision “extraordinary and wrong”.

Uber was previously denied a licence in London in September 2017, leading to a protracted legal battle with London's regulator, winning it a reprieve.

But in September, its hope of securing a long-term licence was dashed when TfL offered only a two-month temporary licence due to ongoing safety concerns. That two-month licence expired on Monday.

The regulator confirmed to The Telegraph that Uber had been denied its licence as a result of breaches related to driver identity checks affecting at least 14,000 trips, such as drivers uploading fake photographs or swapping accounts. LBC first reported the decision.

A TfL spokesman said Uber would now have 21 days to appeal the decision. If it chooses to appeal, it would then be allowed to operate through the appeals process and could still make changes to its service to prove it is a “fit and proper” operator.

The regulator said: “Uber has made a number of positive changes and improvements to its culture, leadership and systems... However, TfL has identified a pattern of failures by the company including several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk.

“A key issue identified was that a change to Uber’s systems allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts. This allowed them to pick up passengers as though they were the booked driver, which occurred in at least 14,000 trips.”

This meant the trips were not insured, and in some cases took place by drivers who were unlicensed and using a fake account. In one case, a driver who had already been banned continued to operate using a fake account.

Helen Chapman, director of licensing at TfL, said: While we recognise Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured."

Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said while Uber should be “held to a high bar” the decision was “just wrong” after two years of changes to how the company operates in London.

Jamie Heywood, the regional general manager for Northern & Eastern Europe, said: “TfL’s decision not to renew Uber’s licence in London is extraordinary and wrong, and we will appeal.”

The ride-hailing firm's share price fell as much as 3pc in early trading in New York, but recovered to a loss of around 1.4pc. Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said Uber had been caught “flat-footed” by the decision.

Uber added it would be bringing in a new “facial matching process” to prevent fraud and improve checks on drivers.

James Farrar, private hire drivers chair at the IWGB union, said the decision was a “hammer blow” to its 50,000 drivers and accused TfL of an “inability” to run a stable regime and Uber's “refusal” to play by the rules.

Steve Gare-lick, regional organiser at the GMB union, said: “The damage that Uber has caused to honest private hire and taxi drivers as well as ignoring worker rights shows that times must change.”

Analysts at HSBC said London could be worth in the region of $3bn in gross bookings on its app, although the company does not break out revenues for the city. “We expect Uber to win [the licence decision] on appeal but news highlights regulatory risks,” HSBC said.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:06 pm 
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Uber London Limited found to be not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence

https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/media/press ... or-licence

25 November 2019

Pattern of failures placed passenger safety and security at risk meaning TfL cannot renew licence

TfL has concluded that it will not grant Uber London Limited (Uber) a new private hire operator's licence in response to its latest application.

As the regulator of taxi and private hire services in London, TfL is required to make a decision on Uber's fitness and propriety before its current licence expires. Safety is TfL's number one priority.

Uber has made a number of positive changes and improvements to its culture, leadership and systems in the period since the Chief Magistrate granted it a licence in June 2018. This includes interacting with TfL in a transparent and productive manner.

However, TfL has identified a pattern of failures by the company including several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk.

Despite addressing some of these issues, TfL does not have confidence that similar issues will not reoccur in the future, which has led it to conclude that the company is not fit and proper at this time.

In September Uber was granted a two-month licence as further information was required on these issues, some of which emerged late in the process of its reapplication.

A key issue identified was that a change to Uber's systems allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts.

This allowed them to pick up passengers as though they were the booked driver, which occurred in at least 14,000 trips - putting passenger safety and security at risk.

This means all the journeys were uninsured and some passenger journeys took place with unlicensed drivers, one of which had previously had their licence revoked by TfL.

Another failure allowed dismissed or suspended drivers to create an Uber account and carry passengers, again compromising passenger safety and security.

TfL recognises the steps that Uber has put in place to prevent this type of activity. However, it is a concern that Uber's systems seem to have been comparatively easily manipulated.

Other serious breaches have also occurred, including several insurance-related issues. Some of these led TfL to prosecute Uber earlier this year for causing and permitting the use of vehicles without the correct hire or reward insurance in place.

While Uber has worked to address these issues, they highlight the potential safety risk to passengers of weak systems and processes.

This pattern of regulatory breaches led TfL to commission an independent assessment of Uber's ability to prevent incidents of this nature happening again.

This work has led TfL to conclude that it currently does not have confidence that Uber has a robust system for protecting passenger safety, while managing changes to its app.

Legislation means that Uber now has 21 days to appeal, during which it can continue to operate pending any appeal and throughout any potential appeals process. Uber may seek to implement changes to demonstrate to a magistrate that it is fit and proper by the time of the appeal.

While Uber continues to operate, TfL will continue to closely scrutinise the private hire operator, which includes the need for Uber to meet the 20 conditions set by TfL in September 2019, and particular attention will be paid to ensuring that the management have robust controls in place to manage changes to the Uber app so that passenger safety is not put at risk.

Helen Chapman, Director of Licensing, Regulation and Charging at TfL, said: 'As the regulator of private hire services in London we are required to make a decision today on whether Uber is fit and proper to hold a licence.

'Safety is our absolute top priority. While we recognise Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured.

'It is clearly concerning that these issues arose, but it is also concerning that we cannot be confident that similar issues won't happen again in future.

'If they choose to appeal, Uber will have the opportunity to publicly demonstrate to a magistrate whether it has put in place sufficient measures to ensure potential safety risks to passengers are eliminated.

'If they do appeal, Uber can continue to operate and we will closely scrutinise the company to ensure the management has robust controls in place to ensure safety is not compromised during any changes to the app.'

Notes to editors

• Last year Uber London Limited received a 15-month private hire operator's licence from the Chief Magistrate with conditions

• The Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 includes provision to appeal a licensing decision within 21 days of it being communicated to the applicant. Uber London Limited can continue to operate until any appeal processes have been exhausted or withdrawn


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:13 pm 
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Transport for London wrote:
Legislation means that Uber now has 21 days to appeal, during which it can continue to operate pending any appeal and throughout any potential appeals process. Uber may seek to implement changes to demonstrate to a magistrate that it is fit and proper by the time of the appeal.

While Uber continues to operate, TfL will continue to closely scrutinise the private hire operator, which includes the need for Uber to meet the 20 conditions set by TfL in September 2019, and particular attention will be paid to ensuring that the management have robust controls in place to manage changes to the Uber app so that passenger safety is not put at risk.

Helen Chapman, Director of Licensing, Regulation and Charging at TfL, said: 'As the regulator of private hire services in London we are required to make a decision today on whether Uber is fit and proper to hold a licence.

'Safety is our absolute top priority. While we recognise Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured.

'It is clearly concerning that these issues arose, but it is also concerning that we cannot be confident that similar issues won't happen again in future.

'If they choose to appeal, Uber will have the opportunity to publicly demonstrate to a magistrate whether it has put in place sufficient measures to ensure potential safety risks to passengers are eliminated.

'If they do appeal, Uber can continue to operate and we will closely scrutinise the company to ensure the management has robust controls in place to ensure safety is not compromised during any changes to the app.'


Reading between the lines, all that seems to be saying is that effectively TfL knows that Uber will appeal and make the required changes to satisfy the magistrate.

In fact it almost reads like TfL are inviting them to appeal.

As I said last time round, it's as if TfL are doing little more than sabre-rattling to ensure compliance by Uber. TfL has now decided that it's having to rattle the sabre that bit harder, but that it will all work out in the end.

As you were [-(


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:53 pm 
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Quote:
Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said while Uber should be “held to a high bar” the decision was “just wrong” after two years of changes to how the company operates in London.

So two years of progress has led to at least 14,000 unlawful, unlicensed, uninsured jobs.

Not the sort of progress any firm, even Uber, should be proud of. [-X

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:07 pm 
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Interesting that the Indian Government (India accounts for 11% of Uber's total earnings) is proposing that drivers undertake a face ID check every three hours.

Oh and that commission is capped at 10%. :D

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