Uber’s new boss apologised to Londoners for the taxi app’s mistakes and pledged to make changes as it tries to overturn a decision to strip it of its licence there.
The British capital’s transport regulator on Friday deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service and decided not to renew its licence to operate, which will end this week, citing the firm’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.
However London mayor Sadiq Khan has asked Transport for London (TfL) officials to “make themselves available” to meet the boss of Uber, after he apologised for issues they have faced.
“I welcome the apology from Dara Khosrowshahi, the Uber CEO. Obviously I am pleased that he has acknowledged the issues that Uber faces in London,” Khan said in a statement.
“Even though there is a legal process in place, I have asked TfL to make themselves available to meet with him.”
Its 40,000 drivers, one third of the city’s total number of private hire vehicles, will continue to take passengers until an appeals process is exhausted, which is likely to take several months.
London police complained this year that Uber was either not disclosing, or taking too long to report, serious crimes including sexual assaults.
“It’s … true that we’ve got things wrong along the way. On behalf of everyone at Uber globally, I apologise for the mistakes we’ve made,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in an open letter to Londoners.
“We will appeal the decision on behalf of millions of Londoners, but we do so with the knowledge that we must also change,” he said.
Uber’s UK head of cities, Fred Jones, said the firm was working with the police to work out how it can better report incidents. He also said Transport for London (TfL) had not been clear about its concerns.
“Once we understand them we can work with them to figure out what is it that they would like us to do and how can we move forward and I think that’s the important next step,” Jones told BBC radio.
The firm has until October 14 to formally appeal TfL’s decision.
A petition calling on London to overturn its decision not to renew Uber’s licence had gathered more than 750,000 signatures on Monday.