Could London Set Up A Nonprofit, Cooperative Alternative To Uber?
As the city prepares to evict the ride-hailing company from its streets, there are questions about what its drivers and riders will do next. The solution might be simple: Start your own company.
London recently dealt another blow to Uber’s plans to take over the world. Saying the ride-hailing giant had failed to abide by public safety rules governing private cab companies, regulators in the U.K. capital said the company would lose its “license to operate” at the end of September.
The decision hit hard for 40,000 fare-earning Uber drivers and its 3.5 million customers, many of whom undeniably like the service. Uber’s cars fill a void in London because its iconic black cabs are expensive (compared to New York’s yellow cabs, particularly) and are far from ubiquitous outside central areas. Already more than 800,000 people have signed a petition asking Transport for London (TfL), the regulator, to overturn the decision (we’re assuming these people are bona fide residents of Chiswick and Islington and not fictitious astroturfers).