In less than 24 hours, Uber has collected over 500,000 signatures in an effort to reverse the city of London's decision to not renew the comany's taxi license. Since London is one of the company's most luvrative markets, if the decision is not reversed, this could be a major blow to Uber.
The signatures were gathered through the popular campaign website Change.org. The terms: that London Mayor Sadiq Khan reverse the Transport for London decision that was made this past Friday.
According to Bloomberg, Khan said that while he can appreciate and support innovative business, "all companies must adhere to high standards of safety and security."
“I have every sympathy with Uber drivers and customers affected by this decision but their anger really should be directed at Uber,” Khan said in a response posted on the website Saturday. “They have let down their drivers and customers by failing, in the view of TfL, to act as a fit and proper operator.”
According to Uber, approximately 3.5 million Londoners look to Uber to provide "a safe, reliable and affordable ride" and that 40,000 drivers depended on the app for their livelihood. The company said its drivers have been “through the same enhanced background checks as black cab drivers.”
Uber has had great success with petition and public loyalty, and reversed similar decisions in London and New York in 2015. The company will have 21 days after the decision to file an appeal, and will be able to continue its service until the end of that process.
The UK director of Change.org, Kajal Odedra, says Uber's campaign "is the fastest growing petition we’ve seen in the UK this year. The speed with which this grew shows how powerful online campaigning can be.”
According to The Guardian, Transport for London (TfL) has cited Uber on several violations before, specifically their lax background checks and their use of the Greyball software. Other cab drivers have "accused Uber of undercutting safety rules" and osing a growing threat to their own ability to earn money and support themselves.
In August, Metropolitan police complained that Uber was taking too long to report serious crimes uch as sexual assault and other crimes that put the public at risk. Uber faced 32 of the 154 allegations of rape or sexual asault in London made between the Februarys of 2015 and 2016.