Uber must not be allowed to operate without full consideration of women's safety

Response to London decision to suspend Uber's licence due to safety concerns

Responding to the decision by Transport for London (TFL) on 22 September to suspend Uber’s licence to operate in London, the End Violence Against Women Coalition said:

“We welcome the decision to suspend Uber’s licence and note that TFL have clearly explained that the decision, is related to passenger safety. It follows alarming reports about Uber failing to do proper background checks on drivers, and not co-operating in response to allegations of sexual assaults. We also applaud the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, coming out and backing this decision and saying that Londoners’ safety is paramount.

“Uber practices in relation to driver checks and its response to reports of sexual assaults and sexual harassment have been lacking. Women have also reported being contacted and harassed by drivers after using the service because the drivers have kept their numbers.

“But – we recognise that many women in London and beyond will need a relatively cheap and easy to use, door to dar taxi service.

“The EVAW Coalition has surveyed women’s views on transport and feelings of safety while travelling, and we found that women make very different decisions from men in particular in relation to late night journeys. Women told us they sometimes chose not to travel late at night, never did so alone and preferred taxis to public transport.

“We want to see Uber sort out its commitment to women’s safety and right to travel as freely and equally as men. No city or government should permit a taxi operator to trade with no controls. Failing to do background checks or to deter abuse and harassment is unacceptable. We need cheap and easy to use transport but the provision cannot be a free for all, otherwise abuse will be enabled.

“We hope Uber will change its practices, we hope TFL and the Mayor stand strong until they do, and we hope for a knock on effect on other places where Uber operates.”

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