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Aberdeen Uni Students Hail Arrival of Uber

The ride sharing company would make Aberdeen more accessible, UoA students tell us


By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

Photo Credit: Viktor Avdeev via Unsplash

Uber has announced plans to expand operations to Aberdeen, provided their licence to operate is approved by the city council. 


The global ride sharing giant was originally granted a licence in 2017, but withdrew their application two years later in 2019. 


The news has been received positively by many, as concerns mount about the availability of taxis across the city. 


The Our Union Street task force has thrown their support behind the scheme, as has Aberdeen Inspired, which manages a business improvement district of more than 800 businesses. 


Speaking to The Gaudie, a number of UoA students expressed support for the scheme. While these individuals acknowledged the company’s poor record on workers’ rights, several noted the existing difficulties of getting around Aberdeen - and explained how Uber could help.


Fresher Amelia said: “As bad as they can be for wages and just taking away smaller taxi businesses, they are far more accessible and reliable.


"Refunds are easy, bad behaviour can be quickly reported. As a disabled person, I can’t drive or sometimes walk, this will make a big difference to [Aberdeen]."

Léa also weighed in, saying: “As much as Uber sucks and is evil to its workers, it would make the city way more accessible. Buses are unreliable and don't run a lot and all the taxis seem to have disappeared in the last two years.


"As a disabled person I have to choose between staying home or exhausting myself.”


Nella, a third student, wrote to the council in support of Uber’s licence, commenting that she had been unable to book a taxi due to high demand on multiple occasions. 


She said: “Considering the shocking lack of public transportation after 11 PM, Uber could make a positive impact for the city centre [in terms of] nightlife, late events, etc…


"It would be so helpful to night workers who need and want to get home as quickly, safely, and comfortably as possible after a late shift.”


However, some have argued that the introduction of the ride sharing company could result in negative outcomes for local businesses and workers. 


Sasha, a first year student, noted that Uber could crowd out local competition, commenting:

“We have some great domestic taxi companies. Yes it is difficult at peak times but it always will be.” 

Members of the public have been invited to share their views with the council’s licensing board before the 10th of May by emailing licensing@aberdeencity.gov.uk


An Uber spokesperson said: “If granted, Uber’s application for a licence in Aberdeen will give passengers greater transport options around the city, support the local economy and provide new earning opportunities for drivers.”


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