Will the end of Uber in London make women more or less safe?
Many women feel that Uber provides the least risky transport option – especially at night. Yet safety was one of the reasons the company’s licence was withdrawn. So who is right?
The decision by Transport for London (TfL) to revoke Uber’s licence was taken in part because of concerns over safety, which sounds sensible enough, although not to the 750,000 people (and counting) who have signed a petition to urge TfL to reconsider. The petition was created by Uber itself, which rather undermines the idea of a democratic process. In the past, it has been accused of exploiting its drivers, and its employees have complained of sexual harassment. You don’t take an Uber because it is the ethical choice; you take an Uber because it is convenient and cheap.
While many of the people who signed the petition will have done so for this reason, a startling number of women have done so precisely because they feel Uber is the safest transport option, particularly at night. You book a cab through the app and pay for it through your phone (no having to jump out at cashpoints). You have the driver’s details, and your journey is tracked by GPS. Young Londoners who don’t remember navigating the city at night in the days before Uber will have heard scare stories of black-cab drivers refusing to go south of the river, or minicabs being somehow “dodgy”.
Source: Guardian Transport