Uber CEO: We must change after mistakes we’ve made
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has apologised to Londoners for “mistakes we’ve made” and said the taxi app “must change” after its licence to operate in the capital was revoked.
On Friday Transport for London said the company will not have its private hire operator licence renewed after it expires on 30th September because of concerns over the safety and security of people using the service.
Uber said it will appeal the decision and can continue to operate in the city until then – 18 days from now.
Khosrowshahi, who took over from founder Travis Kalanick last month following a series of damaging reports which described a sexist culture at the company, wrote an open letter addressed to Londoners.
“While Uber has revolutionised the way people move in cities around the world, it’s equally 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,” he wrote.
“We will appeal [against] the decision on behalf of millions of Londoners, but we do so with the knowledge that we must also change.”
Earlier on Monday London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is also chairman of TfL but was not involved in the licence decision, criticised the way Uber had reacted to the loss of its licence.
Uber London launched a petition – ‘Save your Uber in London’ – in which it wrote: “Transport for London and their chairman the Mayor have given in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice… this ban shows the world that London is far from being open and is closed to innovative companies, who bring choice to consumers and work opportunities to those who need them.”
More than 750,000 people have signed the petition.
“What you can’t do is have a situation where unfair pressure is brought on a quasi-judicial body, where there are officials working incredibly hard,” said Khan.
“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.”
Uber executive Fred Jones told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that it did not understand TfL’s concerns.
“Sitting down with TfL representatives as soon as possible would be the most helpful thing to really understand their concerns, to work out what they are. It is just not clear to us what those concerns are,” he said.