TfL deems Uber app legal following strike

In the aftermath of London’s June 11 taxi driver protest against Uber, Transport for London (TfL) has now deemed the smartphone app to be legal.

Cabbies in the capital believe that Uber, a US technology start-up, acts as an illegal taximeter and undermines their livelihood in the process. But TfL have now ruled that the app is operating lawfully and can continue to do so, reports thedrum.com.

The app, launched in America in 2009, calculates the distance of your desired journey before determining the cost. Although TfL have given it the go-ahead, there’s still one more hurdle for the San Francisco company as the regulator has also asked the High Court for a ruling.

A statement issued by TfL said: “TfL’s view is that smartphones that transmit location information (based on GPS data) between vehicles and operators, have no operational or physical connection with the vehicles, and receive information about fares which are calculated remotely from the vehicles, are not taximeters within the meaning of the legislation.”

Unsurprisingly, Uber welcomed the decision with general manager for Britain and Ireland Jo Bertram saying: “Today is a victory for common sense.” However, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association Steve McNamara remains adamant that “using a meter in a private vehicle is a criminal matter”.

The June 11 strike – which involved more than 5,000 black cab drivers blockading central London – actually led to an 850 per cent increase in Uber sign-ups, reports standard.co.uk.