Uber and consumer choice in London
There has been a lot of discussion of late about London’s transportation ecosystem – and the revolutionary way Uber is delivering more and better options to Londoners. With so much chatter about us, we thought it was about time to jump in and clarify a few things. After all, transparency is a top priority for Uber.
Firstly, Uber puts consumer choice and driver opportunity at the forefront. We strongly believe in competition as it benefits consumers and drivers alike. It gives consumers more choice, and drivers better futures. London cabbies are iconic – arguably the best taxis in the world. However, there is room for all and there is room for more and better. We are bringing competition to an industry that hasn’t evolved in years. This competition benefits riders and drivers, and raises the quality and service levels offered by the industry.
Secondly, Uber has been fully licensed as a Private Hire Operator since our launch in London nearly two years ago, and we meet all the required private hire regulations. As per the regulations, cars using the Uber platform do not have a taximeter – TFL have confirmed that smart phones used by private hire drivers do not constitute the equipping of a vehicle with a taximeter. As a licensed operator, Uber London accepts the bookings and manages the dispatch of drivers through its dispatch system, monitored and controlled by our local operations team here in London. Thirdly, safety is at the core of what we do. Our technology uses unprecedented safety and accountability measures built right into the app, which include:
- Being able to see the name, photo and the registration of the driver before they arrive, so you can be 100% sure you are getting in the right car
- Knowing exactly how much time the car needs to get to you, and being able to follow its approach in the app
- Letting approved friends follow your journey on a live map
- Providing an email summary of the route, so that a rider has confidence the driver took the most direct journey
This is, of course, in addition to the stringent processes we operate with when it comes to working with our partner drivers. All drivers are thoroughly screened, carry full commercial insurance, and at the end of every trip, a rider anonymously rates his/her driver, to help maintain and improve the Uber experience. Every transaction is cashless, so drivers – and riders – never have to worry about the risk or hassle of carrying cash or making change.
We fully share the TFL’s vision that technology should be a key driver in changing the way people are moving around their city, improving the experience for both riders as well as drivers. Our mission is to keep London moving in the safest, most efficient way possible and we will continue to put consumer choice and safety, and driver opportunity, first. Uber on, London! The Uber Team
We have developed a new pilot program – Xchange Leasing – which is a leasing option administered by an Uber subsidiary and designed to fit with the flexibility that drivers value most. The Xchange lease is one of a kind, and offers value that traditional auto leases do not provide. Unlike most multi-year leases that have high fees for early termination, drivers who participate in Xchange for at least 30 days will be able to return the car with only two weeks notice, and limited additional costs. The program allows for unlimited mileage and the option to lease a used car, with routine maintenance also included.
A new report conducted in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reveals that when empowered with more transportation options like Uber, people are making better choices that save lives.
New technologies are creating opportunities no one could have imagined. To understand Uber’s place in that trend, we commissioned a survey of our driver-partners and put together a comprehensive analysis.