On Tuesday 24 September, Transport for London (TfL) announced the decision to issue Uber London Limited with a two-month private hire operator licence ahead of further consideration. Full decision here.

TfL’s recognition of our improved culture and governance reflects the progress we have made in London. We will continue to work closely with TfL and provide any additional requested information.

Over the past two years, we’ve launched a range of new safety features in the app, introduced better protections for drivers and our Clean Air Plan is helping to tackle air pollution.

But we know that we have more work to do. We will keep listening, learning and improving to provide the best service while being a trusted partner to London.

The safest possible service

There is nothing more important than the safety of the customers and the cities we serve. To use the Uber app in the UK, drivers must hold a valid private hire licence from a local authority in their region, which includes an Enhanced DBS background check. Since TfL raised concerns in 2017, we have introduced a number of new features, strengthened our systems and processes and partnered with safety organisations to lead and support important campaigns.

  • A dedicated Safety Toolkit in the Uber app means that riders and drivers can easily access important features to keep them safe and prevent incidents. 
    • Trusted Contacts: Designate up to five friends and family members to be prompted to follow your journey with live trip details.
    • Emergency assistance: Connect directly with emergency services through the app. The app will show your real-time location and vehicle information.
    • Address anonymisation: In addition to rider and driver mobile numbers,  rider’s specific pick-up and drop-off addresses are now concealed.
    • In-app safety centre for drivers: Uber’s one-stop shop for safety resources includes tips, insurance protections and community guidelines.
  • Check Your Ride alerts help make sure riders are getting into the correct licensed vehicle.
  • Cycle lane alerts notify riders to check for cyclists before opening the door near a cycle path.
  • Our 24/7 support centre is staffed by 300 specially trained agents dedicated to improving the safety of drivers and riders. 
  • Limits to driver hours mean that a licensed driver can only spend 10 hours en route to, and on-trip with, a passenger before they are required to log out.
  • Uber is a proud signatory of the Women’s Night Safety Charter, working with UK SAYS NO MORE to help women feel safer. We’re also partnering with organisations to assist with society’s broader safety challenges like modern slavery, the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, and working with the Home Office to help tackle County Lines drugs and human trafficking.

Supporting licensed drivers 

In London, more than 45,000 private hire drivers regularly use the Uber app to make money, with the average London driver earning approximately £11 an hour after costs on the app. A recent Oxford University study found that the vast majority (94%) choose to work with Uber because they value the freedom and flexibility it brings.  

  • All drivers are eligible for AXA insurance accident and injury protection, medical expenses cover and a safety net for sickness, maternity/paternity and jury service payments – completely free of charge.
  • UberENGAGE, our driver advisory groups, gives drivers a voice in the business and a way for them to share feedback with us.
  • Favourite Driver enables drivers to grow their business by capitalising on the great service they provide to their riders. 

Moving towards a sustainable future 

With more than 3.5 million Londoners regularly using Uber, we recognise the responsibilities that come with being a good partner to this global city. Air pollution is a major issue affecting the capital. We share the Mayor’s vision for a cleaner, greener and more prosperous London, and we are determined to play our part in making the city a healthier place for people to live and work.

  • Our Clean Air Plan is helping to tackle air pollution, with a bold ambition for every car on the app in London to be fully electric in 2025. We’ve already raised £50m, all of which goes to helping licensed drivers upgrade to a fully electric vehicle.
  • More than 500 JUMP e-bikes are available in the London boroughs of Camden and Islington, with more to follow.
  • Public Transport information is now available in the Uber app showing real-time bus and tube information, helping riders make the best choice based on price and time. 

Governance and culture 

We’ve also made fundamental changes to our corporate governance, compliance and culture.

  • New senior leadership to oversee our business in the UK.
  • An independent Chair, Laurel Powers-Freeling, and Non-Executive Directors have been appointed to our UK board. 
  • Security & privacy training for all UK employees.
  • UK privacy champion helping us protect user data.
  • 27 operating licences granted from Local Authorities in the last 24 months.