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Uber Signals It's Willing to Make Concessions to London

Uber Signals It's Willing to Make Concessions to London

Londonl's transportation regulator on Friday deemed Uber unfit to operate a taxi service and decided not to restore its license to operate, which will end this week, mentioning the company's approach to reporting major criminal offenses and background checks on drivers.

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

"Obviously I am pleased that he has acknowledged the issues that Uber faces in London", Khan said. In the city, the company employs roughly 40,000 drivers, representing one-third of the city's total number of private hire vehicles.

"We are of course keen to sit down with TfL to understand what changes they want us to make so we can get things back on track for the millions of Londoners who rely on Uber".

Transport for London (TfL) cited "public safety and security implications" among its reasons for denying Uber's license.

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 remains to be seen which strategy will work best, and Uber also runs the risk of antagonizing London officials by sending the mixed messages.

"I have every sympathy with Uber drivers and customers affected by this decision but their anger really should be directed at Uber", Khan said in a response posted on the website on Saturday.

Transport for London has the mayor's support.

Also stranded are the 3.5 million registered users in London, who will need to find alternative transport or use "traditional" taxis.

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".

Fred Jones, Uber's United Kingdom head of cities, said the mayor and TfL had "caved to pressure from a small number of individuals and groups that want to protect the status quo and reduce consumer choice and competition from London". An Uber-sponsored online petition to let Uber continue operating in the city has garnered 750,000 signatures in three days.

Uber, however, has 21 days to appeal the move, which it plans to do "immediately", and by now has likely already done.

Londoners have thrown their weight behind banned taxi firm Uber and hailed the company's service as quicker, cheaper, cleaner - and more reliable than black cabs.

Even if Uber is officially banned from London, the 30,000-40,0000 drivers operating there could continue to work while these new rulings are fought in the courthouses.

Now, Dara Khrowshahi, the brand new CEO of Uber, has sent his reply, in the form of an open letter to the Evening Standard.


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