Uber considers concessions to save London licence

Wednesday, 27 Sep, 2017

US ride-hailing firm Uber is prepared to make concessions as it seeks to reverse a decision by London authorities not to renew its license in the city, which represents a potentially big blow for the fast-growing company, a newspaper reported.

Londonl's transportation regulator on Friday deemed Uber unfit to operate a taxi service and decided not to restore its license to operate, which will end this week, mentioning the company's approach to reporting major criminal offenses and background checks on drivers.

Transport for London's decision to cancel Uber's private hire licence has angered numerous 3.5 million Londoners who have come to rely on the cheaper alternatives to black cabs. The company has 21 days to appeal, a window in which it can still legally operate, and Khosrowshahi said in the open letter that Uber indeed plans to contest the decision.

Just one month into his position as CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi is already apologizing to the entire city of London.

Khosrowshahi, who is less than a month into his new job, did not specify which mistakes Uber had made in London.

Transportation officials said last week they would not renew Uber's license to operate in London beyond September 30, over safety concerns with multiple facets of the company's operation.

Uber called on Monday for talks with London's transport regulator as soon as possible and pledged to make improvements in the way it reports serious incidents in a bid to retain its licence.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who openly supported last week's ruling, believes the apology is an ideal first step.

It is worth noting that in other major United Kingdom cities such as Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester Uber continues to function without an issue. More than 740,000 people have signed an online petition launched by Uber urging TfL to reverse its decision.

However some slammed the criticism of Uber on this basis, claiming the responsibility for vetting drivers instead lies with TfL rather than Uber, or equivalent, minicab operators.

Taxi firm Uber is likely to remain on London roads for more than a year despite being banned by Transport for London bigwigs.

The comments mark a more conciliatory tone from the mayor who had criticized the firm's petition to "Save Uber" after news of Uber's removal broke Friday.

What do you think of Khosrowshahi's apology, along with the directions change to Uber's executive communications strategy? "They have let down their drivers and customers by failing, in the view of TfL, to act as a fit and proper operator", Khan said in his latest statement.

"I appreciate Uber has an army of PR experts, I appreciate Uber has an army of lawyers - they've also made aggressive threats about taking us to court".

His register of interests shows he remains a member of the GMB, the union representing many black cab taxi drivers and which has led a campaign against Uber.

"However, all companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect - particularly when it comes to the safety of customers".