Uber seems to make headlines every day, for negative as well as positive reasons, but that doesn’t seem to be hindering the company’s expansion plans. After run-ins with state and national governments over taxi regulations, allegations of rape in India and the U.S. perpetrated by Uber drivers and questions over the “big brother” methods of looking for passengers, Uber is in the news for good and bad reasons; it might have scored a point in Australia, but in London, Uber drivers have been accused of homophobia.
First, the London story. According to the London Evening Standard, Kensington resident, Svend Littaur, a businessman, complains that he has been given low ratings of 3.4 by Uber drivers, and thinks the main reason was because he was riding with his male companion. The 45 year old said, “A driver told me that anything under a rating of four was scary, and I’ve not been abusive at all, so the only thing I can put it down to is the fact we are a gay couple. That is the only explanation, ” he told the London Evening Standard. An Uber driver in London was suspended when he kicked a gay couple out of his car when they kissed on New Year’s Eve.
Cabbies in Victoria, Australia are not happy that the transportation authorities are having talks with Uber’s David Plouffe, who was a campaign manager for President Obama. Around $1.25 billion worth of tax licenses could be at stake, according to BRW. The website seemed to reflect the view of the Australian taxi drivers when it announced there was a potential to “legalise a service that has outraged taxi drivers across the world.” About 2, 500 Uber X drivers are expected to be on the streets of Victoria if regulations are altered.