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Ride sharing has taken over the world- and Uber is the most powerful example of this burgeoning business. Lowering transportation costs and simplifying payment has been a tremendous hit with consumers worldwide, however, the ride sharing app has been plagued by quality,safety and governmental issues. The issues have now caught up with them. Uber has been banned from London, and the city is hardly the full extent of their problems…

Transport For London (TfL) has announced it will not renew Uber’s operating license when it expires on September 30th. Since the app’s London arrival, groups have galvanized to block its use, with strong cases being made by London’s famous “black cabbies”. Uber’s opponents insist that the app lacks safety features for passengers or protections for drivers, while also causing gridlock and safety concerns on the road. No doubt- Uber will fight this ruling in the courts.

a bridge over a river with a clock tower and a buildingThe move in London is hardly the only issue Uber is facing. In the Philippines, Uber was recently banned and forced to pay hefty fines before reinstatement. As a frequent traveler, this author has witnessed gangs of traditional cab drivers threatening the lives of Uber drivers in countries such as Indonesia. As with all disruptive technologies, whether right or wrong- some groups don’t want to be disrupted.

Uber has seen one of the most historic valuation rises in history, currently valued somewhere near 70,000,000,000.00 dollars. For the record, we just couldn’t resist writing out all the zeroes. There’s no doubt that this major “cash” makes Uber a lightning rod in the world. It’s not unfair to say that the company must use this capital to invest further in driver and rider safety, but at the same time many governments can’t resist insisting that much of that money should be going directly into their pockets. Only time will tell where ride sharing goes.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Hey there! In Argentina and Chile uber drivers also struggle with government bans and cab drivers, they always ask you to sit in the front of the Car!

  2. What started as a ride sharing concept has turned into a taxi service industry. In the beginning, you can make extra money from commuting home-work-home by taking passenger along the rode. That’s the concept. It also minimize the amount of cars in the road. Nowdays, uber driver is a dedicated full time driver, just like a taxi, minus the standard regulation in taxi industry. No safety for passenger and driver in regulation. The friendliness and courtesy of the driver has long dissipated due to working demands. Uber is no longer what it is supposed to be. Time to sell the stocks…

  3. I am not underplaying the security aspects but this strikes me more that traditional taxi drivers don’t want the competition. Whatever happened to innovation in a capitalist economy?

  4. all good and valid points James. My own experiences with Uber and my on observations from those experiences are a bit different. With about 100 Uber rides under my belt in various cities and in conversations with all except one driver (it was a lady driver who had her dad riding shotgun for safety), I’ve not come across any Uber driver that was driving as a dedicated full-time driver. Rather, they all were elsewhere in their lives and picking up a few hours of down time a few times a week. As for safety for passenger, i don’t think i felt any less safe in an Uber driven car than in a standard Yellow Cab, zTrip or black cabbie. And as for the friendliness and courtesy, well, London black cabbies have always rated high with me for their exuberance, but on a ratings scale, Uber ranks in the top two for positive experiences with only a single ride in which i thought the driver was not a good driver. Anyway, as with any experience with transportation or hospitality whether ground transportation, hotel or airline, there’s bound to be many different experiences so i hope you don’t my own. The only thing i don’t like about this whole scenario as it is being played around the globe … the lobbying from the entrenched who were never smart enough to invest in the comfortable technologies that make Uber work so well. The number of hours spent chasing taxis down a street, not being able to see correctly if it were for hire or not, bustling in a queque including arguing with fellow humans about who had the rights for hailing a cab mid-block and the countless frustrations of finding transportation on inclement days and yes, taking the seemingly long way between midtown and LGA (Triborough, Midtown tunnel or Queensboro). Anyway, I’m good with Uber and can tell you that the status of Austin as a fave city was knocked down a notch when they went through the same exercise of banning Uber. And do understand I am not supporting putting freedom of the fare above some sort of assurance that my safety is also considered.

  5. Tried to book an Uber car yesterday , felt we have made a Big step backwards for Londoners .

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