Tag Archives: License
LONDON (Reuters) – Uber [UBER.UL] avoided a ban in London on Tuesday after the taxi-hailing app’s new management made changes to ease strained relations with the city’s transport regulator, but its new license will include strict conditions.
Uber overhauled its policies and personnel in Britain after Transport for London (TfL) refused to renew its license in September for failings in its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.
Judge Emma Arbuthnot said that while Uber had not been fit and proper when that decision was made, an overhaul of its policies in the subsequent months had changed its position.
“(Uber) has provided evidence that it is now a fit and proper person… I grant a license to ULL (Uber London Limited),” she said in her judgment.
The judge granted Uber a 15-month “probationary” license to operate.
With backers including Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and BlackRock (BLK.N) and valued at more than $ 70 billion, Uber has faced protests, bans and restrictions around the world as it challenges traditional taxi operators, angering some unions.
Uber, which has about 45,000 drivers in London, introduced several new initiatives in response to the ruling, including 24/7 telephone support and the proactive reporting of serious incidents to police. It has also changed senior management in Britain, its biggest European market.
The ruling has been a test of Uber’s new management at board level, with chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who took charge the month before TfL’s decision, pledging to “make things right” in London.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan was clear that the court ruling was no carte blanche for Uber in London.
“No matter how big or powerful you are, you must play by the rules – especially when it comes to the safety of Londoners,” he said in a tweet.
“Uber has been granted a 15-month license to operate in London – but with a clear set of conditions that TfL will closely monitor and enforce.”
The license conditions include giving TFL notice of what Uber is doing in areas that may be a cause of concern, reporting safety related complaints and having an independent assurance audit report every six months.
Reporting by Alistair Smout; Additional reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Alexander Smith, Mark Potter, Alexandra Hudson and Jane Merriman
LONDON (Reuters) – London’s Transport Commissioner Mike Brown met Uber [UBER.UL]boss Dara Khosrowshahi in January, a freedom of information request revealed, as the Silicon Valley app fights to keep its cars on the streets of its most important European market.
Uber is battling a decision by the city’s transport regulator last September to strip it of its license after it was deemed unfit to run a taxi service, a ruling Uber is appealing.
Since then Uber has made a series of changes to its business model, responding to requests from regulators, including the introduction of 24/7 telephone support and the proactive reporting of serious incidents to London’s police.
Khosrowshahi flew to London in October for discussions with Brown after which Uber promised to make things right in the British capital city.
The pair had a second meeting in London in January, according to a response to a freedom of information request from Reuters.
“The Commissioner met with Dara Khosrowshahi on 3 October 2017 and 15 January 2018, both meetings took place in London,” Transport for London (TfL) said.
A TfL spokesman declined to provide an immediate comment on what was discussed at the meeting. Uber declined to comment.
Reuters had asked for a list of every meeting which had taken place between Uber and TfL’s private hire team and/or Brown since Sept. 22 but TfL declined to release such details.
“We are not obliged to supply the remainder of the information requested in relation to meetings as it … relates to information where disclosure would be likely to prejudice the exercise by any public authority of its functions ..,” it said.
A court hearing over Uber’s appeal is due this month before the substance of the appeal is heard in June.
Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison
LONDON (Reuters) – Uber’s [UBER.UL] appeal process against a decision by London’s transport regulator to strip the taxi app of its operating license in the British capital could take years, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said on Thursday.
Transport for London shocked Uber in September by deeming it unfit to run a taxi service and refusing to renew its license, a decision the Silicon Valley firm is appealing.
“My understanding is that it could go on for a number of years,” Khan said at a monthly question session when asked about how long the appeals process could last.
Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison
Less than a month into the job, new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is headed to London to try to negotiate the restoration of the company’s operating license in the British capital.
On September 22, Transport for London (TfL) ruled that Uber was unfit to operate as it decided not to renew the company’s license, which is due to expire on Saturday. TfL cited previous issues reporting criminal offenses and background checks on drivers, calling Uber not “fit and proper” to operate in London. According to Reuters, Khosrowshahi will meet with Mike Brown, the head of the London transport system, on Tuesday.
News of Khosrowshahi’s meeting closely follows Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement that the London withdrawal of Uber is “disproportionate,” putting thousands of jobs at risk. The prime minister acknowledged safety concerns associated with the ride-hailing company, but called for a level playing field between private firms like Uber and London taxis.
London is one of Uber’s most important global markets, with nearly 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers using the app. After the TfL announced its decision to revoke Uber’s license, more than 800,000 Londoners have signed a petition supporting Uber. And following Khosrowshahi’s apology earlier this week, London mayor Sadiq Khan appears open to discussions, reportedly asking the TfL to be available to meet with him.
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An Uber spokesman said that Khosrowshahi “is looking forward to meeting with the Commissioner next week. As he said on Monday, we want to work with London to make things right.”
While Uber may be eager to make nice, there is one group that is not so unhappy with the TfL ruling. Addison Lee, which is the second biggest private ride company in London behind Uber, sees an opportunity to gain more riders from Uber’s ban. The company plans to increase its 3,600 drivers in London to approximately 4,450. But Uber will still be able to operate in the capital until the appeals process has been completed, which could take months.