Uber: Return to London

The ride sharing giant has been given the right to restart its operations in London, UK. Starting immediately, Uber will be able to operate under a 15 month probation period, granted by a London judge yesterday. The decision will allow Uber to return to the capital of the United Kingdom, after a decision by the Transport for London (TfL) not to renew their 5-year licence, which expired in September 2017, led to their Uber-brexit.

The decision came after a two-day hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court. The Chief Magistrate, Ms. Emma Arbuthnot declared Uber "fit and proper"

The decision is considered a direct result of a profile change that Uber went through over the past year. Since the ousting of former CEO, Travis Kalanick, and the hiring of Dara Khosrowshahi, the company launched a new profile; one that is diametrically opposed to the Uber of the past: working with cities, instead of undermining their authority - more purely inclusive, shifting away from allegations of sexual harassment that made headlines more than a year ago - friendly and apologetic, instead of combative. The repositioning of the company is clearly producing fruit: the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, gave Uber a Twitter welcome - although in a strict tone. 

No matter how big or powerful you are, you must play by the rules – especially when it comes to the safety of Londoners. Uber has been granted a 15-month licence to operate in London – but with a clear set of conditions that TfL will closely monitor and enforce.
— Sadiq Khan - Mayor of London

In line with TfL's recommendations, Uber has agreed to make changes: an example, is Uber's appeal against English tests. The ride-sharing company had appealed against a move that would require all London drivers to pass English language tests, but it recently decided to drop its appeal (February, 2018). The 15-month licence is almost sure to please both parties: Uber regains access to one of its most lucrative markets, while TfL has established its "dominance" and right to oversee Uber's behaviour in the streets of the British capital.  

Dara Khosrowshahi celebrated the recent decision on his twitter account: 

Andrew Kyprianides