The backlash against Uber escalated in London on Monday, as London’s transit authority refused to renew Uber’s license to operate, according to an Associated Press report.
Transport for London was quoted as saying “several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk” in its decision not to extend Uber’s license, which expires at midnight Monday. Among other things, unauthorized drivers carried out thousands of rides, the regulator was quoted as saying.
“While we recognize Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured,” said Helen Chapman, director of licensing and regulation at Transport for London, in the report.
“We cannot be confident that similar issues won’t happen again in future.”
Not surprisingly, Uber fired back by calling the decision “extraordinary and wrong,” according to the report. The ride-sharing company is reportedly going to file an appeal in the next 21 days, during which it can continue operating.
“We understand we’re held to a high bar, as we should be. But this TfL decision is just wrong” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi reportedly tweeted. “Over the last 2 years we have fundamentally changed how we operate in London.”
According to the report, the denial is a big setback for Uber as it struggles to turn a profit. The company posted a $1.16 billion loss in the latest quarter, and Khosrowshahi forecast this month it wouldn’t make a profit until 2021.
TfL has reportedly been carefully monitoring Uber, following concerns about aggressive corporate tactics and passenger safety. According to the report, TfL revoked Uber’s license in 2017, only to have a court later grant it a license lasting 15 months, which TfL then extended for two more months in September, while also imposing a set of 20 stricter conditions.