Uber has apologised to Londoners apologising for its “mistakes” but said the company would be appealing the decision to revoke its operating licence.
Transport for London (TfL) revealed on Friday that it would not renew the ride-hailing company’s licence, prompted outcry from many and more than 700,000 people to sign a petition in the firm’s favour.
Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, said in an open letter in the Evening Standard:
We want to thank everyone who uses Uber for your support over the last few days. It’s been amazing to hear your stories of Uber improving lives across this city - from driver who use our app to earn a living, to riders who rely on us to get home safely after a night out.
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.
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.
We won’t be perfect but we will listen to you, we will look to be long-term partners with the cities we serve ad we will run our business with humility, integrity and passion.
Here in London, we’ve already starting doing more to contribute to the city. Wheelchair accessible vehicles are on the road and our Clean Air Plan will help tackle pollution.
You have my commitment that we will work with London to make things right and keep this great global city moving.
Khosrowshahi also asked Londoners to “work with us to make thing right” in a tweet.
On Friday it was revealed that TfL had deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service for safety reasons and stripped it of its licence from 30 September, although the company can continue to operate while it appeals.
The regulator cited failures to report serious criminal offences, conduct sufficient background checks on drivers and other safety issues.
Uber responded by urging users in London to sign a petition that said the city authorities had “caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice”. The move echoed Uber’s strategy in disputes with other cities.
Monday’s apology comes after Sadiq Khan accused to company of “aggressive threats”.
The mayor of London, who is also TfL’s chairman, said: “What you can’t do is have a situation where unfair pressure is brought on a quasi-judicial body, where there are officials working incredibly hard.
“I appreciate Uber has an army of PR experts, I appreciate Uber has an army of lawyers - they’ve also made aggressive threats about taking us to court.”
Speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, Uber’s head of UK cities, said that “it is not clear what [TfL’s] concerns are”.
Fred Jones also acknowledged there were times when the firm had got it wrong, such as an incident when a man working for Uber was allowed to continue on with them despite an allegation of sexual assault. This went on to lead to another “more serious” attack , Inspector Neil Billany of the Metropolitan police’s taxi and private hire team said in a strongly-worded open letter at the time.