Uber app legal in London

Transport for London (TFL) has bought a Claim in the High Court to determine whether the taxi app Uber uses a taximeter in its calculation of fares, a system restricted to black cabs.

Uber cars are booked through smart phones, which use a GPS and external server to calculate the cost of the journey, the price of which is often a fraction of that charged by black cab drivers. The Claim was brought after pressure from black cab drivers, who expressed concerns including the safety of the Uber app and the fact that it gives customers no leeway to challenge fares before they are taken from their bank accounts.

Mr Justice Ouseley ruled on 16 October that the app does not calculate fares in the same way as black cab meters do, noting that a taximeter does not rely on a device using GPS signals.

TFL welcome the ruling on the basis that the decision was in the ‘public interest’ to establish legal certainty on the matter. The Licensed Taxi Driver Association expressed its dissatisfaction with the ruling, commenting that they would appeal the decision.