Technology

Uber boss apologises for ‘mistakes' after being denied London licence renewal

Dara Khosrowshahi has spoken for the first time since Transport for London's decision.

The boss of Uber has apologised for “the mistakes we’ve made” after the ride-hailing firm was denied a new operating licence in London.

Chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi accepted the company had “got things wrong”.

In a letter to the London Evening Standard, he wrote that although Uber will launch an appeal against the decision by Transport for London (TfL) not to renew its licence, it will do so “with the knowledge that we must also change”.

Uber licence
40,000 drivers use the Uber app in London (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Khosrowshahi said: “We won’t be perfect, but we will listen to you, we will look to be long-term partners with the cities we serve, and we will run our business with humility, integrity and passion.”

TfL said Uber was “not fit and proper” to operate in the capital, and it made the licence decision on the grounds of “public safety and security implications”.

The issues raised by TfL include Uber’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences, how drivers’ medical certificates are obtained, how criminal record checks are carried out, and its use of technology which allegedly helps it evade law enforcement.

Uber changes
About 3.5 million customers use the Uber app in London (Yui Mok/PA)

More than 740,000 people have signed an online petition launched by Uber urging TfL to reverse its decision.

Khosrowshahi, who took over at Uber last month, thanked “everyone who uses Uber for your support over the last few days”.

He added: “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.

Uber licence
Uber is available in more than 40 towns and cities across the UK (Lauren Hurley/PA)

“We will appeal this decision on behalf of millions of Londoners, but we do so with the knowledge that we must also change.

“As Uber’s new CEO, it is my job to help Uber write its next chapter.”

Uber enables users to book cars using their smartphones and is available in more than 40 towns and cities across the UK.

Some 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers use the app in London.

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