Uber hopes to overturn the decision that stripped the company of its license to operate in London. Uber has since made some changes, introducing a 24-hr support phone line and the proactive reporting of illegal activity to London police.
Last year Uber attempted to coerce London into signing a 5-year contract but was rejected. This time around, they are trying an 18-month deal with hopes to prove that they can change.
Uber has 50,000 drivers throughout the UK and 80% is in London. There is no doubt that this is a must need market for the Silicon Valley startup.
The court battle is scheduled to take months and possibly years. For the time being, Uber is allowed to operate in the market. Many Londoners rely on Uber after it’s launch in 2012 and around 600,000 have signed a petition to save Uber.
BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones analyzed the situation in his blog:
“A kinder, gentler and humbler Uber – that is the image the taxi app company hopes to project in court this week as it battles for its future in what is one of its most important markets. It will stress that a lot has changed at a business that once prided itself on confronting local regulators in a whirlwind of creative disruption. A new boss, Dara Khosrowshahi, came to London and actually said sorry, and in February new measures were announced to co-operate with the police over allegations of driver misconduct – Transport for London’s main concern when it refused a new license. The fact that Uber is seeking a new license for just 18 months, rather than the full five years it expected last autumn – and that it appears to have been agreeing with TfL a list of conditions it will have to meet – shows that it accepts it is still on probation.”
Along with London, Uber has had a hard time getting licenses in UK cities York, Sheffield and Brighton. The trial continues to unfold.
Featured Image via Flickr/Mark Warner