Ride sharing applications, if used correctly, could be incredibly convenient. In cities that have been designed to be more spread out such as Houston as opposed to cities more condensed such as New York City, apps such as Uber and Lyft couldn’t be any more useful. The rides are rather affordable, especially when splitting the fare with friends. During a night out with friends in Midtown for instance, it’s an infinite number of times safer for everyone involved, especially when my friends and I have consumed a couple adult beverages.


(The Sun.co.uk)

Yet, Uber and Lyft can more often than not face opposition and controversial actions from skeptical city officials regarding the background checks of their drivers. In May of 2016, all ride-sharing apps including both Uber and Lyft completely ceased operations in Austin because of Uber and Lyft not fingerprinting their prospective drivers while Austin voters upheld a rule that would require Uber, Lyft and other transportation network companies there to do fingerprint-based background checks of their drivers, among other things.


For a year, Austinites and the millions of visitors that The Lone Star State’s capital were left to rely on other applications and various forms of transit. Not that that’s a bad thing, though. Austin has ample amounts of public transportation and many Uber and Lyft-like apps started that abided by those newly implemented fingerprint laws. And luckily a year later, those fingerprint laws were overruled and Uber and Lyft returned to Austin.


Once again although, particularly Uber has been facing backlash from various controversial actions within the company, such as not so thorough background checks on employees and frowned upon measures such as failing to report unwanted sexual advances and sexual assaults by their drivers in cities such as London.


Due to that, Uber will be leaving and ceasing operations entirely in London. However, that’s just the ruling set forth by the British government organization responsible for public transportation entitled Transport for London. According to Vox, the process of repealing Uber’s operations from London could be months long. In that time, Uber is fully intending to fight this ruling in the courthouse to the best of their abilities. Even if Uber is officially banned from London, the 30,000-40,0000 drivers operating there could continue to work while these new rulings are fought in the courthouses.


And despite the controversy surrounding the unreported sexual assaults by drivers, a considerable amount of Londoners are siding with Uber. A recent petition has reached over 600,000 signatures to bring Uber back to London and disregard what Transport for London has ruled (4). Also, London mayor Sadiq Khan received emails from 20,000 Uber drivers who defended TFL’s decision to remove the app’s services from the city and it’s millions of users.


In the coming months, Londoners, Mayor Khan, TFL and Uber will all be fighting for and against the app and it’s recent controversial actions. And if Uber is officially banned from London in a similar way that Uber and Lyft were banned from Austin, then similar apps starting up in the area will likely occur.


How do you feel about the Uber ban in London? Let me know at @CaptainKasoff on Twitter and we’ll talk!