Uber’s battle against regulators and taxi unions saw a win today. Transport for London (TfL), London’s transit agency, ruled smartphones running Uber’s app are “not taximeters within the meaning of the legislation.”
Taxi drivers claimed that Uber’s smartphone app violated law stating that only black-car drivers can use taximeter technology.
Uber’s victory could be short-lived. TfL said Uber’s stay is only temporary. A final decision will come after a court rules on the taximeter question in six cases against Uber drivers. It will probably be sometime this fall before a final decision is handed down.
Uber will support the six drivers with cases against them.
Uber continues its fight on multiple fronts. Besides in London, Uber is fighting to stay operational in multiple cities in the U.S. Earlier in the week, judges in Pittsburgh ordered Uber to halt operations until they have permission from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
In California, regulators and legislators want additional insurance requirements that Uber opposes.
In other news, Uber started its rollout in St. Petersburg, Russia yesterday. Uber cars are limited as it’s still in the testing phase, but Uber says a broader rollout is coming.
Uber is also teaming up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for July 4th. They’ll donate $1 ($10 for new riders) to MADD for every ride between 6 am July 4 through 6 am on July 5. Stay safe if you’re out partying this weekend. Remember, there are plenty of ways to get home safely.
Uber and other similar services such as Lyft have an uphill battle ahead of them. Regulators haven’t been easy to win over and taxi companies are fighting tooth and nail in every city and country. Times are changing, though and taxi companies’ days are ultimately numbered.