Uber could lose its license to operate in London as early as the end of September.
In a decision issued by Transport for London (TfL), the agency responsible for regulating ride-hailing services within the city, the organization said that it will not issue Uber with a private hire operator license after its current license expires September 30, concluding that Uber is “not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence.”
Uber will have 21 days to appeal the decision, and it can continue to operate until any appeal process has been exhausted.
“TfL considers that Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,” TfL wrote in its decision.
Specifically, TfL said the issues included Uber’s approach to reporting serious criminal offenses; its approach to how medical certificates are obtained; its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained; and its explanation of the use of Greyball in London, which TfL called “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.”
According to The New York Times, “fit and proper” is a concept in British law that applies to different sectors of business and charitable organizations in the UK in order to ensure that people or organizations meet the requirements of their industry. While there’s no formal test for the designation, factors typically include honesty, transparency and competence. Less than a year ago, Uber had another run-in with UK regulators after a tribunal rules that the company could no longer treat its drivers as self-employed contractors, meaning that the company would have to meet tougher standards and offer vacation pay and pensions.