What Would You Give Up to Get Uber Back?

With Uber set to lose its London licence for good, we asked some sad millennials what they would do to get it back.
September 25, 2017, 1:13pm

No progress was made in the showdown between Uber and TFL over the weekend, with Sadiq Khan telling the Today programme on Monday morning that the company had been making aggressive threats and that they would have to learn to play by the rules.

With this in mind, we asked some millennials whether they're sad about Uber potentially going for good, and what they'd give up to get it back.

Adam, Actor, 26

How do you feel about TfL shutting Uber down?
Adam: [Look of ineffable sadness] For real? Forever?

Yeah. How will I move around when I am drunk?

Night tube?
It doesn't go to where I live. I live in north-west, like Harlesden. I guess I'm pretty stranded now. There is going to be a lot of sleeping on sofas from now on.

What would you give up to get Uber back?
I don't know – I am attached to all my things.

Would you give up carbs?
No, because chips might get me through the night bus.

Would you give up apples?
Do I look like I like apples?

I am not part of the avocado lunch brigade, so yeah, they can fuck off.

No – that's what you watch when you get in from your Uber ride home.

It seems like there is life after Uber for you.
If they sort their shit out and start paying their staff properly and give them holiday, I'm sure there's a future for Uber. Have you heard about that new app where you get driven around by men on a little bike?

That sounds a bit medieval to me. Uber is really useful for me when I'm at my parents' because Leeds' transport is crap.
They have Uber in Leeds?

Yeah, northern cities have infrastructure and technology.

Freddie, Musician, 24

How do you feel about UBER getting canned by TfL?
Freddie: I don't really get Ubers that much – they're quite expensive and I don't have the memory on my phone.

Fair enough.

Sam, Vegan, 27

How do you feel about Uber being shut down?
Sam: When they said they're shutting it because it's not safe, I find that weird, because you can see the ratings of the drivers and you know who they are, which makes me feel a lot more secure.

I once got a taxi in Seven Sisters from a company called Alan's Car Service. It had a one-star rating on Google. I was quite concerned, but he was very polite and prompt – would recommend. Originally I thought I'd finish the trip with my head on a pike.
But then it might not have been Alan, just Alan's car.

Very true. So do you use Uber a lot?
I do. Especially when I'm on a date.

Are you upset about the prospect of taking girls home on the night bus?
I just put the girls on the magic carpet and fly the way home.

[Painful silence]

Would you swap carbs for Uber?
I'm a vegan, so carbs are pretty much all I eat. That would mean shunning all food.

What about Netflix?
Yeah, I'd be alright with that. It's all good – we've still got 123 Movies.

At the moment, because I don't take Uber that often, yeah sure, but in the future, probably not. The problem is, when I'm in the position to order Ubers regularly I will be in the position to eat more avocado.

Lelie, art student; 21, Oscar, art student, 21

How do you feel about Uber being canned?
Oscar: Sorry, what?

They say it's not safe.
Oscar: She's from South Africa, and over there Uber is literally the only mode of transport.

It's only in London, don't worry.
Lelie: Phew. From my experience, I've always felt safe. In Cape Town, where I'm from, public transport is really poor, so Uber is a big deal.

Would you give up Netflix for Uber?
Lelie: Easily.

Lelie: Oh my word, I don't think I could give up bread. That's all I eat. I am a poor student. If they got rid of Uber in Cape Town the government would have to change the entire infrastructure of the city. I mean, Uber drivers take a lot of money from other taxi companies and they don't pay their drivers very much at all.

Oscar, you seem pretty nonchalant about this vast potential shift in London's nightlife culture. Would you skip your lunch today to keep Uber?
Oscar: Not even.

You won't be saying that when you're sat on the pavement enjoying post-kebab nausea and the night bus is going to take 90 minutes to get home.
Oscar: If you've got good tunes on your iPod, though, the night tube is legit.

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Paddy, 29

Are you upset about Uber closing down?
Paddy: Why have you come to Islington to ask people on the street about Uber?

Why would I not come to Islington? It's a wealthy borough; I imagine lots of people here take Ubers.
Yes, but you have come to left-wing, Jeremy Corbyn central. It's like going to South Kensington and asking people about Theresa May's cuts to the police – you won't get a very interesting response. They don't care; they're probably chuffed.

Are you chuffed?
Yes. Pay your staff better, Uber. Give them holidays and stop invalidating people's taxi licences.

The people of Islington might reject the corporate values of Uber, but that doesn't mean they don't still use the service. I disagree with the way Uber treats its workers, and yet when I'm pissed I jump in them.
I see what you're saying. The Tories complain about the NHS but they still use it. I guess it's the same with left-wing people and Uber.

So you've critiqued my vox-pop location – where would you go to ask people about Uber?
Anywhere but here.