Transport for London wants cab companies to share data, improve passenger safety and introduce ride sharing measures which could include single sex journeys.
Uber and other ride-hailing services must ensure passenger safety and data security if they wish to continue to operate in London.
New rules proposed by Transport for London (TfL) will require cab companies to appoint a member of staff who will be accountable for driver and passenger safety and assist police in the investigation of any crimes.
Companies will also have to make it easier for customers to raise complaints and allow passengers to choose who to share rides with; TfL’s policy statement explicitly mentions “women only vehicles” as an example.
TfL also wants these companies to share journey data, so it can get a better idea of the impact app-based services have had across the city.
“There are an increasing number of services emerging in London that include ride-sharing which have the potential to influence further how people move around the city,” TfL said. “These trends have created challenges for transport authorities around the world, including how to apply existing licensing legislation, managing the impact of more vehicles moving around the city and ensuring a safe and secure service for all.”
Last September, TfL declined to renew Uber’s licence after finding its “approach to reporting serious criminal offenses” wanting and its use of so-called “greyballing” tech to confuse local authorities concerning.
Since then, both the New York Attorney General and the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have begun investigations into the company, after it emerged that Uber had concealed news of a leak of US and UK citizens’ data for over a year. Uber has also been dogged by complaints of sexual harassment by its drivers, something the company has downplayed.
Uber and fellow cab operator Kabbee did not immediately respond to a request for comment; taxi firm Addison Lee declined to comment.
The full list of TfL’s proposals, which would also require fleets to have a minimum number of wheelchair-accessible cars, can be found here.