Since its launch, Uber has had a fraught relationship with London drivers and the government of London.
Uber will increase its London fares by 10 percent starting today to attract more drivers to the ridesharing platform. According to The Evening Standard, this price hike is the first since 2017. It was intended to meet high demand and shortages of drivers.
Uber stated that although the number of registered drivers has not changed substantially since the pandemic outbreak, many have chosen to work with multiple ride-hailing apps, such as Bolt and Kapten, or focus on food delivery. It has been a source of complaints from customers about long waits and surges pricing.
Uber spokesperson, via email, stated that the company is making changes to provide better service to riders by signing up more drivers to meet increasing demand.
This year, Uber had stated that it needed to sign 20,000 more drivers to maintain pre-pandemic service levels. Passengers will see a 25% rise in the price of their journeys to London’s major airports if there is a surcharge. Uber will continue taking a 25% reduction on all fares in the U.K.
The U.K. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that Uber drivers are now workers and should have the right to low wage and benefits such as paid holidays.
Uber drivers were warned by the IWGB union, which represents them. It said that Uber’s app had made it easier for drivers to earn less than the minimum wage. “There is no driver shortage. There is no shortage of drivers. We’re ready to work, but Uber is making it difficult for us because our pay has fallen so low,” Nader Alwaad, chair of United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD), a branch of IWGB union. We do not have enough funds to survive after the costs of driving to pick up customers. We shouldn’t have to volunteer for a multibillion-dollar business.”