The San Francisco-based Uber immediately said that it plans to appeal Transport for London’s decision, labeling the move “extraordinary and wrong.” Shares of Uber fell over 1% after the ruling.
Because of the appeal, nothing will change for passengers and drivers who the use the Uber app for the time being. But the ban represents a huge blow to the ride-sharing firm, which has worked to improve its reputation as a friend rather than foe to regulators under current CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
TfL had previously suspended Uber’s license in 2017, flagging concerns with the company’s approach to safety. Following that initial decision, Uber was twice granted a temporary license to continue operating in the city — the first, a 15-month reprieve issued by a judge last year, and the second, a two-month permit granted by TfL in September.
“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,” TfL said. “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,” the regulator continued. “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.”
Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision.
“TfL’s decision not to renew Uber’s licence in London is extraordinary and wrong, and we will appeal,” Jamie Heywood, Uber’s Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, said in a statement. “We have fundamentally changed our business over the last two years and are setting the standard on safety. TfL found us to be a fit and proper operator just two months ago, and we continue to go above and beyond.”
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