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Uber reaches 500,000 petition signatures to protest London ban

Company has a history of successfully using petitions and loyalty of the public to pressure city government

Image Credit: AFP
A woman poses holding a smartphone showing the App for ride-sharing cab service Uber in London.
Gulf News

London: Uber Technologies Inc. collected more than 500,000 signatures in less than 24 hours on a petition to protest London’s decision to not renew the company’s taxi license.

The campaign on the website asks London Mayor Sadiq Khan to reverse Transport for London’s Friday decision, and is being promoted on the company’s app in London.

“By wanting to ban our app from the capital, Transport for London and the mayor have given in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice,” according to a statement accompanying the petition. The company said 3.5 million Londoners rely on Uber for “a safe, reliable and affordable ride” and that 40,000 drivers depended on the app for their livelihood.

Khan on Friday defended the agency, saying in a tweet: “All private-hire operators in London need to play by the rules. The safety and security of Londoners must come first.” Transport for London found that Uber isn’t “fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license.”

To read more about Uber in London, click here

While the petition doesn’t trigger any legal or regulatory process, the San Francisco-based company has a history of successfully using petitions and loyalty of the public to pressure city governments. It succeeded in reversing regulatory decisions in London and in New York in 2015. Uber urged customers to sign the petition in a tweet posted at 12:41pm. Friday, about two hours after the London agency’s decision.

Uber has 21 days after the Sept. 30 revocation to file an appeal.