Uber CEO apologises for 'mistakes', vows to fight London ban

Uber CEO apologises for 'mistakes', vows to fight London ban

Uber's chief executive has apologised for the ride-sharing app's mistakes in London and promised to change as the firm fights a decision by the city not to renew its licence.

The British capital's transport regulator last week deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service and decided not to renew its licence to operate, which will end this week.

Transport for London (TfL) cited the firm's approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

"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," CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in an open letter.

"On behalf of everyone at Uber globally, I apologise for the mistakes we've made.

"We will appeal the decision on behalf of millions of Londoners, but we do so with the knowledge that we must also change."

The company also called for talks with the regulator as soon as possible and pledged to make improvements in the way it reports serious incidents.

London police complained earlier this year that Uber, which is backed by Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, was either not disclosing, or taking too long to report, serious crimes including sexual assaults and that this put the public at risk.

Asked about the criticism, Uber's UK Head of Cities apologised about a specific incident and said the firm was working with the Metropolitan police to make improvements to its reporting process.

"We're working with the police to figure out how we can do this in a better way that's helpful to them," Fred Jones told BBC radio.

The firm can continue to operate until the appeals process is exhausted, which is likely to take several months.

TfL declined to comment on Monday. But the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, a Labour politician who has criticised the firm in the past, backed TfL's decision and attacked the Silicon Valley app's response.

"You can't have it both ways: on the one hand acting in an aggressive manner for all sorts of things but on the other hand brief to journalists that they want to do a deal with TfL," he told BBC radio.

"If you play by the rules you're welcome in London, if you don't, don't be surprised if TfL takes action against you."

Uber, which is used by 3.5 million passengers in London, will see its current license expire on September 30.

AP/Reuters