Is Uber Destroying The Taxi Industry?

Dominic Adams explores the recent debate on whether or not Uber are destroying the Taxi Driving industry.

Recently Uber was denied a renewal of its licence in London, meaning Uber can not operate in London past September the 30th.  Uber is a way for people to get a lift, like a taxi, but often it is far cheaper, meaning people have taken to using Uber rather than local taxi services.  With over 40,000 registered drivers in London alone in 2017, the Taxi Business in London took a severe hit as people often decided to take a ride from the app, rather than the local industry.  This is not just affecting London, but many other cities around the world, including New York.  

In Paris in 2014, there were even attacks on any Uber driver that local taxi drivers could see, with rocks being thrown at their windows and in some cases, the drivers being physically assaulted.  Other cities have, or are now going to start putting restrictions on these third party services, in order to preserve the taxi driving industry.  For example, in France, startups such as Uber have to wait around 15 minutes before picking up a customer, encouraging people to just get a taxi instead of using Uber, or other services, such as Lyft.

As well as damaging the taxi business, many blame Uber for a variety of other problems in cities around the world, such as congestion, poor service, and the company treating their own drivers badly.  London Taxi drivers have to take a test to make sure they know every street in the large city, whereas Uber drivers have to take no such test, a main cause of anger among taxi drivers who feel Uber drivers are far more unqualified yet are taking customers from them.  Many also say Uber has a poor system for reporting drivers for crimes, not reporting offences directly to the police, and that the company does poor background checks on their drivers.   Currently, Uber is registered for use in; the following cities;

Many criticised the ban saying it has ruined the livelihood of tens of thousands

Belfast Birmingham Brighton South West, UK Cardiff
Cambridge Edinburgh Glasgow Home Counties Leeds
Leicester Merseyside Manchester North East, UK
Nottingham South Coast, UK Sheffield Stoke York

On the other hand, many have criticised the mayor of London for the ban, saying it has ruined the livelihood of tens of thousands, and deprived many more of cheap and convenient travel options.  At first, the company’s response was filled with anger for the ban, but, on the 25th of September, the CEO of Uber changed his approach and apologised, promising to change as the company fights a decision by the city not to renew its licence.