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losangelesnewstoday.com October 21, 2017


Uber apologises after losing London licence

27 September 2017, 12:32 | Maryann Sutton

Stopping traffic black cab drivers protest against Uber in 2016. Dinendra Haria

Stopping traffic black cab drivers protest against Uber in 2016.     Dinendra Haria

"On behalf of everyone at Uber globally, I apologize for the mistakes we've made", Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a public letter addressed to "Londoners" on Monday.

Uber's closest U.S. rival in the taxi-hailing business, Lyft has repeatedly met with officials from London's transport regulator over the past year, a sign it may be targeting the city for global expansion.

Uber's CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, issued an apology to Londoners on Monday (25 September), acknowledging the United States company had "got things wrong along the way" as it expanded. Tom Elvidge, Uber's London general manager, pointed out that over 3.5 million citizens of London use the app regularly, and 40,000 licensed drivers therein are making a living as Uber drivers, now to be shut down unless something changes.

Uber responded by urging users in London to sign a petition that said the city authorities had "caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice". He wrote an open letter in which he apologised "for mistakes we've made".

In response to TfL's decision, Khan said: "I fully support TfL's decision - it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners' safety and security".

Petitioner Glenn Gathercole, from London, said he added his signature because: "Uber provides a much-needed alternative to minicabs and black cabs".

TfL accuses Uber of its laxity in the denunciation of crimes and faults in the controls of the criminal records of its drivers.

"Friendly" (76 per cent) and "helpful" (61 per cent) were also terms used to describe Uber drivers.

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Uber can continue operating in London until the company's appeal is resolved. According to a statement released by Transport for London, Uber is no fit to be issued with a private hire operator license.

Now, as brand-new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi deals with a stunning rebuke from London, the playbook gets another page: fight, but offer some diplomatic humility.

Among those supporting TfL's decision was London's Mayor Sadiq Khan. However, it has emerged that should Uber make changes to its policies, they will most likely benefit drivers and passengers.

Nigel Mackay, a lawyer at Leigh Day law firm, which has challenged Uber over its working practices, also indicated Uber's appeal "could go all the way to the Supreme Court".

Uber's licence expires on September 30 from which date the firm will have 21 days to appeal.

It flagged up Uber's approach to how medical certificates were obtained - for example, drivers using an online GP service via video rather than having a check in person as the regulations insist.

It was announced last Friday that the app-based transportation network would not be having its private hire licence renewed in the capital.



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