Uber New CEO On London Decision: Company Is Paying For 'Bad Reputation'

Danny Woods
September 24, 2017

Anger is growing over the decision not to renew the London operating licence of taxi firm Uber. He told employees the company needed to act with integrity but that he did not believe Uber had done everything it was accused of in London.

Responding to the petition, Fred Jones, Uber's United Kingdom head of cities, told the BBC: "I think people realise that this decision by the mayor and Transport for London is actually because they have caved to pressure from a small number of individuals and groups that want to protect the status quo and reduce consumer choice and competition from London".

According to Transport for London, the company, whose app is used by 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers in London, isn't "fit and proper" to hold a license to operate a private-hire vehicle service.

Uber has always been a target of complaints from taxi drivers and companies.

And with Uber's licence in Liverpool not due for renewal until 2021, TfL's decision is unlikely to have any impact on people using the app here.

Uber has 21 days to appeal, during which it can continue to operate in London.

More than half a million people have now signed a petition calling for the ruling to be reversed.

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It cited its approach to handling serious criminal offences and its use of software to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app, preventing "officials from undertaking regulator or law enforcement duties".

Uber's petition is called "Save Your Uber in London" their statement said on the Change.org website: "By wanting to ban our app from the capital, Transport for London and their chairman the Mayor have given in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice".

He challenged findings made by TfL, saying Uber drivers were subject to the same checks as black cab drivers, that its technology had enhanced safety, that it followed TfL rules on reporting incidents, and that an independent review had already cleared it over the use of "greyball". "Pls work w/us to make things right", Khosrowshahi wrote.

TfL has said Uber can operate until the entire appeals process ends, which could take months.

A survey of 80 global cities in July, found that London's taxis were the sixth most expensive in the world, behind only two Swiss cities, Tokyo, Copenhagen and Helsinki.

Khosrowshahi reiterated that the company will "vigorously" appeal the Transport for London's decision to revoke the company's license but that it should also build trust through its actions and behavior in order to become more acceptable, given is terrible track record so far.

The company, which has been valued at nearly $70bn, has been in turmoil in recent months over the conduct and subsequent exit of its founder, Travis Kalanick.

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