Uber should license its software to other taxi firms and charge users £1.99 for its app, says Ken Patterson; social trading can change the world, says John Bird

Your correspondents from charities supporting people with disabilities quite rightly say that “disabled people deserve to benefit from the greater choice of affordable and accessible travel that competition and innovation delivers” (Letters, 2 October). They go on to say that “Uber provides this opportunity” – er, no. Uber does no such thing, because it does not provide any vehicles. Uber makes the so-called “self-employed contractors”, who drive the vehicles, provide vehicles adapted for disabled use – at their expense, not Uber’s. As always, Uber simply provides the link and takes a hefty fee.

If Uber is prevented from operating, the vehicles will still be there to provide a service to disabled people, probably working for London’s many other taxi firms. And if Uber wanted to provide a public service of any sort to anyone (disabled or otherwise) rather than indulge in monopolistic world domination, it would license the software to any taxi firm that wanted to use it and make the app available to users for £1.99. That way it might even make a profit.
Ken Patterson

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