Coincidentally, I was in London last week and there is genuine consternation on both sides of the Uber debate. Cooperatives have appeared all over the City and represent, it appears to me, a Millennial mindset that Uber must recognize and embrace. Uber could gain leverage by turning the drivers into a partner in overcoming the accusation by Transportation for London that is is not “fit and proper” to hold a license.
That will me more changes to the way Uber does business. It is possible they could co-design a humane system.
But, instead of relying on Uber and other venture capital-backed startups, London has another option if it wants it. It could set up–or encourage–a nonprofit ride service like the one started by tech entrepreneurs in Austin. RideAustin, now 15 months old, has proved that Uber’s proposition isn’t unique and that cities needn’t be cowed into accepting the writ of outside corporations. The homegrown alternative offers something as good (according to many users), but in a way that’s more homely and, dare we say