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Uber stripped of license in London, its biggest European market

Uber partners Mastercard for 120,000 free trips to front line workers in MEA, including Nigeria

Transport regulatory authority in London, Transport for London (TfL), has stripped ride-hailing platform, Uber of its license in London, its biggest European market, after authorities found that more than 14,000 trips were taken with drivers who had faked their identity on the firm’s app.

TfL is a local government body responsible for the transport system in London.  The city transport regulator cited a “pattern of failures” that “placed passenger safety and security at risk.”

Uber has said it would appeal and would continue to operate pending the outcome, provided it launched official proceedings within 21 days.

This sanction is a huge blow to the ride-sharing firm, which has worked to improve its reputation as a friend rather than foe to regulators under current CEO Dara Khosrowshah. The company posted a $1.16 billion loss in the latest quarter with Khosrowshahi forecast this month it wouldn’t make a profit until 2021.

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Tfl had first suspended Uber’s license in 2017, citing concerns with the company’s approach to safety. Following that initial move, Uber had twice been granted a temporary license to continue operating in the city.

In Nigeria, issue of safety has been a major concern for riders who often complain on the attitude of their drivers. Uber says a range of new safety features have been introduced to its app in the past two years.

Earlier this month, it launched a system which automatically checks on the well-being of drivers and passengers when a journey is interrupted by a long stop.

It also unveiled a discrimination reporting button on its app, and collaborated with the AA to produce a safety video to educate drivers on topics such as reading the road, speed, space management and how to drop off and pick up passengers safely.

There are around 45,000 Uber drivers in London. Shares of Uber were down 1.22percent at $29.22 in early morning trading on Monday.