New year, New U-ber

 

A few months on from Uber licence being revoked I wanted to see if there had been a change in people’s perception on UBER and whether they support TFL or still stand by their social media petition for their favourite hail app.

I have lived in London now for the last 14 years, and as a collective, we have been looking for easier and quicker ways to get around the ever-growing city. We are lucky in London to have the tube, train, bicycle, bus, taxi or boat, we do not suffer from choice. I have been a staunch supporter of the idea of HAIL app and thought it was a superb addition from the beginning. (there are other hailing apps and taxi services available) I loved that I could order a car to my location and only wait 5 minutes and it would whisk me away with all the awkward chat of any given cab ride and get you to your destination with relative comfort and at a lower cost!

Well back when, before the invention of the smartphone, apps and other technologies, it was very difficult to get a cab late at night. Normal behaviour was to stand on the street for a while and have the first three cabs drive past before you do stop one, then to be told “can't take you that way mate, it's too far west”!! A poor excuse and it used to force more people into unlicensed cabs

Now, I'm not going to stand on my soapbox and defend the case for Uber, this is not only about Uber, this has always been a problem. When we (the collective we) used to try and get a black cab, fail and decide on or make the inebriated decision to pay a fixed price for an unlicensed minicab we suffered the same fears that we are trying to solve today. We were told never to get into one on your own but we still did, why, because it was quicker and cheaper than hailing a cab. Now, for us to regress back to this life, I personally don’t think it is a viable solution to move forward and that the current black cab fleet can handle the capital's population. We need to embrace the new systems, but not at the extent of peoples security. Is UBER unsafe compared to other forms of cab transport?

uber-driver-insuranceLet’s revisit the problems UBER  have been asking to respond too:

It's approach to reporting serious criminal offences.

It's approach to how medical certificates are obtained.

It's approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained.

It's approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London - software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties.

 

There are 3.5 million Londoners who use the UBER app, who have more than 40,000 licensed drivers to pick them up. This is a huge work force and can’t be ignored but neither can the welfare of the consumer and their safety. When working with children or customers there are very strict regulations that are put into place for the welfare of the consumer so why should UBER be different? Hospitality, education and health all except that these regulations have to be met. So, why not one of the largest companies in the world…..? 

Of the four problems raised by TFL, how is it in the modern world we have got into a position in which a company like UBER can’t react in a positive way to solve the problem? Even if this put up the price for the consumer even by£1, it won’t be as high in cost as the closest competitor driving you 3 miles out of the city centre. 

As we are now very aware, the decision for Uber to go to court will be played out in public for months, potentially years. I personally want an app like Uber on my phone and I want the choice to get the night tube or get a ride home. This can’t be at the expense of the user or their safety or is that too obvious to say?

So what are your thoughts on this? Should UBER get their licence back or should we support TFL stand strong…? Are you Pro or a No?

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