In Brief

Women-only Uber service could be launched in London

TfL’s new policy aims to improve passenger safety in the ride-hailing sector

The taxi app company Uber could be forced to offer a service exclusively for women under new proposals put forward by Transport for London (TfL). 

The transport operator revealed in a policy statement published on Thursday that services within the city should provide “mechanisms to allow passengers to choose who they share vehicles with,” such as “women only vehicles”.

According to Engadget, the policy would affect UberPool, which allows users to share their car ride with strangers, along with “similar services” offered by other companies. In this case, it means women would be allowed to request a ride with a female stranger. 

While the policy has yet to be adopted as law, it could prove controversial if enforced, especially if passengers were able to “filter based on race and sexuality too,” the website says.

TfL says it’s introducing these guidelines to improve safety and trust in public transport, and to ensure that people become less reliant on private cars.

According to Tech Crunch, TfL refused to renew Uber’s licence to operate in London last year over public safety concerns and a “lack of corporate responsibility”.

While the ride-hailing firm is currently appealing against the decision – and continues to operate in London – TfL’s policy statement suggests its intention is to “tighten regulation” on the ride-hailing sector, whatever the outcome of the trial may be.

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