London's transport authority has Uber in its sights, with plans to overhaul taxi regulations in a move designed to increase oversight of ride-hailing companies.
In its first clampdown on high tech transport companies since it refused to renew Uber’s licence last year, Transport for London said it was seeking to force private hire operators to share data with regulators, improve working conditions and introduce driver training.
The plans come during a wider regulatory clampdown on Uber after the EU’s top court ruled in December that the ride-hailing app should be regulated as a traditional taxi company rather than a technology platform.
TfL last year refused to renew Uber’s London operating licence because of safety concerns. Uber has appealed against the decision and is allowed to continue its operations ahead of a hearing expected this summer. TfL did not specify a timeline for the introduction of the regulations but said disruptive technology had “created challenges for transport authorities around the world”.
"The private hire market is unrecognisable from when current legislation was introduced,” said Helen Chapman, interim director of licensing, regulation and charging at TfL. The changes suggested in TfL’s policy paper could alter the way Uber operates in its biggest European market. The company could be forced to roll out its “Uber Movements” programme for sharing data to the UK or introduce costly training programmes for drivers.
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