Uber Sued by London Black Cab Drivers for £250 Million Over Taxi Booking Rules

By Trisha Andrada

May 02, 2024 07:12 AM EDT

Uber is facing a multi-million-pound lawsuit filed by nearly 11,000 black cab drivers over an alleged breach of taxi booking rules in London, England.

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A close-up of an Uber sticker on the side of a car on February 19, 2021 in Cardiff, Wales.
(Photo : Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Uber Allegedly Steals Business From Black Cab Drivers

In a group action claim filed by law firm Mishcon de Reya in the High Court on behalf of the black cab drivers, the claimants alleged that Uber allowed its drivers to accept bookings directly from customers rather than via a central system like minicab services.

In a statement, litigation management firm RGL Management, supporting the claimants, claimed that this booking system was "unlawful" as it did not comply with private hire rules, with Uber's intention to "take business from existing black cab drivers."

According to BBC, the lawsuit focuses on Uber's operations in London between May 2012 and March 2018. The plaintiffs argued that the ride-hailing company consciously misled Transport for London (TfL) about how its app works to obtain a business license to operate in the city.

The plaintiffs noted that cab drivers in London have suffered loss of earnings due to Uber, which consistently failed to comply with the law on private hire vehicles in London.

The RGL noted that the claim is worth at least £250 million (over $313 million), with taxicab drivers potentially getting £25,000 (over $31,000) each. However, an Uber representative denied what they called "old claims" and told BBC that those were completely unfounded. 

They said, "Uber operates lawfully in London, is fully licensed by TfL, and is proud to serve millions of passengers and drivers across the capital."

Read Also: How Uber Handles the Killing of Female Driver Who Was Shot by 81-Year-Old Man After Scammers Targeted Both of Them

Uber Faces a Number of Challenges in London

This is not the first time Uber has encountered an obstacle in London. In 2017, the New York Times reported that TfL declined to renew the company's license, citing public safety and security concerns as reasons for their decision. 

During that period, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi expressed regret for past errors and said the company would contest the decision. Following a successful appeal, Uber got a provisional 15-month license to operate in London in 2018. After a year, Uber was again denied a renewal, which it successfully appealed. 

The company was allowed to continue operating in London throughout the appeals process. In 2022, TfL granted Uber a 30-month license, which is up for renewal this September. 

Read More: Uber's Verification Pilot Program Launches! What it Means to Drivers, Passengers

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