UBER REGAINS LICENSE TO OPERATE IN LONDON

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Ridesharing giant Uber prevailed in an English court case on Monday, obtaining a license to continue operating in London that had previously been denied by the city’s transportation authority.

Transport for London (TfL), the governmental entity responsible for regulating transportation in the London metropolitan area, refused to renew Uber’s taxi service license in September 2017. TfL found various serious safety violations in its operations, including failing to verify the photographs, insurance, and even driver’s licenses of its drivers. A judge reinstated the license in 2018, but TfL once again refused to extend it in 2019.

The decision by the Westminster magistrate court on Monday grants Uber an 18-month long provisional license to operate in London. The license is conditional upon Uber’s compliance with a list of 21 requirements set by the court and TfL, which include Uber taking steps to improve its safety record by submitting to oversight of its operations by an independent Board of Directors to monitor any safety violations.

In the judgment, Judge Tanweer Ikram conceded that while Uber had “historical failings” in its safety record, the company had taken steps to rectify its mast misdeeds. Ikram said that he was “satisfied that they are doing what a reasonable business in their sector could be expected to do, perhaps even more” and that the conditions agreed to in the provisional license would be sufficient to permit the company to continue to operate. The Judge Tanweer held asunder:

52. Cognizant instructed by TfL had initially found that ULL’s ITSM processes were not to appropriate standard. TfL accept that there have been subsequent changes and that, now, ‘ULL’s ITSM processes are now of a standard that they would expect of a company in ULL’s position. ULL’s changes have plugged the gaps identified by Cognizant.’ This was the residual area of concern in terms of systems and processes. I find it has been adequately addressed.                                                                                                                                                                                                     53. Despite their historical failings, I find them, now, to be a fit and proper person to hold a London PHV operator’s licence.                                                                                                                                                                      54. ULL’s appeal is allowed. Having heard further submissions, I grant a PHV operators’ licence to ULL for a period of 18 months with conditions as agreed by parties and annexed to my judgment. ”

See the order