Uber is rarely not embroiled in controversy, which makes many people who rely on the app – us included – feel uncomfortable, to say the least. The latest issue the company is grappling with, however, is too serious for us to ignore.
The taxi firm could be stripped of its licence in London after it failed to report a string of sex attacks by drivers on passengers. A cross-party group of MPs from Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have written a letter calling on Transport for London (TfL) to not renew the company's licence to operate in the capital when it expires later this month, the Daily Mail reported.
Last month, the Metropolitan Police accused Uber of failing to report serious crimes, including sexual assaults, to protect its reputation, which the MPs argue makes it an "unfit and improper operator". Between February 2016 and February 2017, there were 48 allegations of sexual assault involving Uber drivers made to police, which were reported by passengers or TfL, not the company itself.
In their letter, the MPs said Londoners' safety "must be at the forefront of decisions taken about the taxi and private industry in our capital city", adding that they didn't believe Uber "has shown itself to be a fit and proper operator."
In May, Uber was granted just a four-month licence to enable it to continue working in London after its first five-year licence expired, so that TfL could debate whether it should be allowed to carry on for another five years.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, an Uber spokesman failed to address the Metropolitan Police's allegations directly, but said its drivers are "licensed by Transport for London and have been through the same enhanced background checks as black cab drivers." He continued: "Our technology goes further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by GPS and we employ former Met Police officers who work closely with the police."
In the meantime, don't forget Uber isn't the only way to travel around the capital. Remember public transport? The night tube is much cheaper than a cab, too.