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High Court states Uber PDA is not a taximeter

16/10/2015

High Court states Uber PDA is not a taximeter

The ride-hailing app operated in London by the US firm Uber does not break the law, the High Court has found.The court had been asked to decide whether the company's smartphones were considered meters, which are outlawed for private hire vehicles. The phones use GPS and external servers to calculate the cost of a journey.

 

Transport for London said taking the case to court had been "in the public interest". The app-based company allows users to order cars via their smartphones, which often arrive within minutes and can cost a fraction of the price of a black cab. 

 

Mr Justice Ouseley declared that taximeters do not operate in the same way as the app as they do not depend on GPS signals or include the app's other new-tech characteristics to calculate fares.

 

TfL and Uber had both argued at a one-day hearing earlier in October that the app was not a meter, and both organisations greeted the decision as a victory.

 

An Uber spokesman said: "This was not a marginal call; it is quite emphatic, Uber will continue going about our business and making sure customers have choice." 

 

Transport for London also welcomed the ruling, saying there had been "significant public interest in establishing legal certainty in the matter"

 

The Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association (LTDA), which represents many of the 25,000 licensed taxi drivers in London, asked the judge to rule it was a meter and ban its use.

 

The Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) backed the LTDA and said the app was "an attempt to circumvent the statutory prohibition" on minicabs using meters.Black cab drivers argue that the app poses a risk to public safety and customers being overcharged, with no opportunity to challenge fares before the money is automatically taken out of their bank accounts.

 

Source: BBC News

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