On Monday, newly installed Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi published a letter in the London newspaper Evening Standard apologizing for the ride-sharing giant’s many mistakes.
“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,” Khosrowshahi wrote.
“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,” he continued.
Read the full letter here.
The open letter comes just days after the city’s transport regulator Transport for London (TfL) refused to renew Uber’s operating license in the British capital when it expires on September 30. The company has 21 days to appeal the decision, and is allowed to continue working and driving throughout the process.
It also comes after an Uber-initiated online petition in response to the possible ban that calls for a reversal of TfL’s decision; the petition has racked up over 750,000 signatures so far.
Echoing Khosrowshahi, Uber's Head of Cities for the UK Fred Jones joined BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, and said Uber is looking to better understand TfL’s concerns, particularly its driver background checks and how it reports serious incidents to the police.
Also on the radio program was London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who said while he wants the city to be “a place for new technology,” operators like Uber must “play by the rules.”
Uber also wants to meet with and talk to TfL so that it can further improve the way it operates. One of the main reasons why it lost its operating license was because of a “lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,” said London’s regulator.
Uber began its London operations five years ago, but the company doesn’t experience the same type of competition as it does in other cities. Its biggest rival Lyft, for example, has yet to expand to the U.K. Uber claims that about 3.5 million people use the ride-hailing service in London, with 40,000 drivers on its platform in the city.
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