LONDON – Britain’s High Court ruled Friday that the Uber app to hail minicabs is lawful – a blow to London’s famous black cab drivers, who argued that it violated city regulations.
The court’s decision came after London’s transport authority sought clarification as to whether the San Francisco-based company’s app worked in the same way as meters used by the strictly regulated black cabs.
The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association argued the app – which records a car’s location and travel time and feeds it back to servers in California – worked like a meter. But Justice Duncan Ouseley disagreed, ruling that the app relies on GPS signals and did not operate in the same way.
The association said it would appeal.
Transport for London said it would ensure regulatory requirements were met and said it would gauge public opinion on a range of potential changes to the rules for private hire vehicles, including stricter rules on insurance and English language skills.
“We know that some ideas put forward for consultation are controversial, which is why we want as many people as possible to tell us what they think to help shape the future of private hire in London,” said Leon Daniels, Transport for London’s managing director of surface transport.
Uber has come under fire in several European countries, including France, Italy and Spain.
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