Scandal-hit Uber has long claimed that it offers an “information society service” and markets its taxi app as a “digital economy” champion. However, there’s no escaping the fact that it has a huge and growing fleet of vehicles operating throughout London for which it pays a flat licence fee of less than £3,000 for a five-year period—but that could be about to change under new plans laid out by Transport for London.
TfL, which won a legal tussle with Uber over English exams for drivers, has proposed changes to its private hire operator licence fees to fund 250 additional compliance officers to police the system—all of which carries a £209 million price tag.
The sheer scale of licensed drivers operating on the streets of the capital today needs to be reflected in the licence fees that Uber and its competitors are charged, TfL said on Thursday. It wants to set a new fee structure applied to help its officers tackle illegal activity and licensing matters in London.