Uber and TfL hope for more talks after ‘constructive’ licence dispute meeting
Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive of the ride-hailing app, met Mike Brown of Transport for London.
A meeting between the new boss of Uber and London’s transport commissioner to discuss the firm’s future in the capital was described by both sides as “constructive”.
Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive of the ride-hailing app, met Mike Brown of Transport for London (TfL) as Uber seeks to continue operating in the capital.
TfL refused to renew the firm’s licence last month on the grounds of “public safety and security implications”.
Uber has said it will appeal against the decision. It can continue to operate during that process.
An Uber spokesman said: “Our new chief executive had a constructive meeting with the transport commissioner this afternoon. We hope to have further discussions over the coming weeks as we are determined to make things right in London.”
A TfL spokeswoman said: “Today’s constructive meeting centred on what needs to happen to ensure a thriving taxi and private hire market in London where everyone operates to the same high standards.
“Further steps in this process will take place over the coming weeks.”
The talks were being held following an approach from Uber and at mayor Sadiq Khan’s request.
The app 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 service in London, according to Uber.
TfL has a number of concerns about Uber, including its 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 to evade law enforcement officials.
Mr Khosrowshahi took over at Uber in August after predecessor Travis Kalanick resigned following a series of scandals.
The new boss has apologised for “the mistakes we’ve made” and accepted that the company had “got things wrong”.
Uber will challenge the licence decision “with the knowledge that we must also change”, he said.
More than 840,000 people have signed an online petition launched by Uber, urging TfL to reverse its ruling.
The firm’s UK head Jo Bertram quit her post on Monday after four years with the company.
The head of northern Europe affairs said an “exciting new opportunity has arisen that will allow me to apply what I’ve learnt here and I’ll be able to share more details with you soon”.
A spokesman for the company denied the move was driven by Uber’s current licensing issues, but Ms Bertram said: “Given some of our current challenges, I’m also convinced that now is the right time to have a change of face, and to hand over to someone who will be here for the long haul and take us into the next phase.”