"It is only fair."
Taxi app Uber could face an increase in operator license fees in London under proposed changes by the city's transport authority, the latest in a series of moves by regulators to rein in a firm that has disrupted the traditional taxi industry.
Transport for London (TfL) launched a consultation on Thursday on plans to change the fee structure for private hire operators so that firms pay fees that reflect the increased costs of regulating the sector.
San Francisco-based Uber, which allows people to book journeys on their smartphones, said it supported the principle of larger operators paying higher fees and would look at the details once it received the consultation documents.
More than 30,000 licensed drivers in London use the Uber app, making it the largest operator of private hire vehicles in the city. TfL said the private hire industry in London had grown dramatically, from 65,000 licensed drivers in 2013/14 to more than 117,000 now.
The transport authority said this meant the cost of regulating the industry was soaring, with enforcement costs over the next five years set to reach 30 million pounds from a previous estimate of 4 million.
"It is only fair that license fees for private hire operators accurately reflect the costs of enforcement and regulating the trade," said Helen Chapman, TfL's general manager of taxi and private hire.
If Uber (or rather its licensees) increase(s) its fees, will you still use/hire Uber?
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