Uber Technologies Inc., the world’s best known car hailing service provider, faces a tougher regulatory climate in the British capital following London Mayor Boris Johnson’s transport regulator’s latest proposal.
The regulator wants private-hire minicabs to be the subject of English-language and navigational tests, harsher insurance requirements and also have a limit on the number of bookings. The new ideas have not been transformed into law yet because they make the subject of a consultation on minicab rules beginning Wednesday and lasting for 12 weeks, according to a statement by Transport for London. “No final decisions have been made and we’re keen to hear a range of views,” also commented TfL Chief Operating Officer Garrett Emmerson. Uber, a provider of a phone application-based booking system, has been highly controversial after reshaping the face of modern taxi-like transportation services. The company claims the proposal also stipulates the need for a mandatory five-minute wait time even if a ride is just round the corner as the application will no longer showcase the locations of the closest vehicles.
Back in May the mayor called for action to limit “the threat posed by the massive increase we are seeing in the number of private-hire vehicles,” as London today uses 25,000 black cabs and 8,000 buses but the private-hire services are already at “over 75,000 minicabs and rising.” Uber claimed back then it only used 15,000 cars in the capital. Meanwhile, black-cab drivers, which face mandatory grueling tests to receive a license have repeatedly complained that car-booking services such as Uber were a threat to them and also delivering a drop in service quality.