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Guest Post: An analysis of Uber’s London service, by Houseprice.AI

POSTED BY   Will Darbyshire
September 25, 2017

The news on Friday that Transport for London (TfL) had denied Uber an Operator Licence for the capital has stirred up some intense feelings. TfL announced Uber “not fit and proper” to hold a private hire licence and that the company had shown a “lack of corporate responsibility” in relation to public safety. As soon as the judgment was announced the company stated its intention to challenge the ruling in the courts and a petition was launched which is now well on the way to reaching 750,000 signatures. TfL is now saying Uber needs to rethink its approach.

Uber claims that 3.5 million Londoners rely on them to get around London, so we thought that we would look to see where these Londoners are using the App. To do this we used Uber’s own API to get waiting times from 1000 randomly selected locations across Greater London that were within a 50 km radius of Charing Cross and cross-referenced it against some known property metrics.


So what did we find? Well, overall across the random sample of 1000 covering the most of Greater London, the average response time was 432 seconds, or 7 min 12 seconds. However, the attached visualization shows that much like property values, response times lengthened dramatically for a few postcodes the further away from Central London you travelled. This is not so surprising, you would expect more Ubers to be located in the busy central areas.


However what is interesting is that actual response rates were very similar over a much larger area of London than you would expect and pretty fast too, with 2 to 3 minutes not unusual. The second chart shows the average price per square meter for properties in the same postcode areas. So if Uber were just used in central areas, you might expect the same distribution of response times as say, property prices/housing density, but as you can see, it is clearly not. In fact, response times in Outer London are very similar to Inner London and speed quite evenly, suggesting that Ubers really are used by Londoners at pretty consistent levels all across the capital.


So it would be fair to say that if you are living in the most expensive part of London, or indeed the cheapest bargain basement, in either case your access to Uber in most streets and alleys is about the same, which let’s face it, is not necessarily the same for other modes of transport across the capital and suggests that TfL might need to rethink as much as Uber might have to smarten up its operations.




Eldred Buck is the CEO of Houseprice.AI Ltd. Houseprice.AI has developed an innovative AI machine valuation model that powers the accurate and fair price valuations used in the Horizon App. Horizon is designed for Estate Agents and produces customized interactive sales and marketing reports, designed to integrate with all major social media channels.

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