Uber CEO apologizes to customers after London pulls license

Last Friday, TfL shocked many by announcing that it would not renew Uber's licence to operate in the United Kingdom capital, citing the firm's approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

Mayor Sadiq Khan, a Labour politician who has criticised the firm in the past, said on Monday he had asked Transport for London (TfL) to be available to meet CEO Khosrowshahi. "On behalf of everyone at Uber globally, I apologise for the mistakes we've made", said Khosrowshahi, the ex-head of Expedia that was brought in last month to replace Uber founder Travis Kalanick as CEO after a series of PR disasters.

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.

Now, experts say the appeal means that Uber could continue to run in London well into 2018, with the company allowed to keep operating until the case has been decided. Mr Elvidge said "we're always willing to talk to Transport for London and the Mayor".

Since the decision was announced, a petition calling on TfL to reverse the decision has garnered over 700,000 signatures - although a new statement from Khan firmly stated that the mayor would not be moved on the issue.

He said when a driver signed up to the app, Uber made sure they had all the correct paperwork from TfL and that Uber did not carry out background checks itself.

It also warned that its fleet of 40,000 drivers would suffer from TfL's decision.

He said the company had operated in London for five-and-a-half years, during which it was audited by TfL.

According to the BBC, Khan welcomed Khosrowshahi's apology.

"As Uber's new CEO, it is my job to help Uber write its next chapter", Khosrowshahi continued.

In the years since it began operations, Uber has faced regulatory and legal setbacks around the world.

The chief executive of Uber has apologised for mistakes that led to Transport for London withdrawing its operating licence, as he affirmed his commitment to fight the ban.

It is not the first time that Uber faces something like this since the service has been suspended or banned from other cities in the past.

Uber is looking to fix its relationship with London.

A NCC spokeswoman added: "When issuing a private operator's licence, the council has to be satisfied that the applicant is fit and proper to hold the licence in line with legislation and the council's licensing policy".

It cited instances in which Uber failed to report serious criminal offences as well as its penchant to deceive regulators in its decision to not renew its license when it expires on September 30. He also told employees in an internal email that "going forward, it's critical that we act with integrity in everything we do, and learn how to be a better partner to every city we operate in".

  • David Armstrong