Uber boss to meet London transport chief in bid to keep license

LONDON (Reuters) – Uber’s new global boss Dara Khosrowshahi will meet London’s transport regulator on Tuesday in the taxi hailing app’s bid to keep its license in one of its most important foreign markets.

Transport for London (TfL), which runs and regulates the capital’s transport system, shocked Uber last month by deeming it unfit to run a taxi service and refusing to renew its license.

TfL cited the firm’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

Reuters reported on Monday that Uber’s top boss in Britain, Jo Bertram, would be quitting in the next few weeks to take up an undisclosed new role outside the company.

Uber’s British management has been criticized by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is also chairman of TfL.

Khan said the firm needed to spend less time hiring “an army of PR experts and an army of lawyers” and instead address issues raised by TfL.

Khan, a centre-left politician from Britain’s opposition Labour Party, approved Tuesday’s meeting between Khosrowshahi and TfL Commissioner Mike Brown, who is in charge of TfL’s day-to-day operations.

FILE PHOTO: Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi poses for a portrait during the 2010 Reuters Travel and Leisure Summit in New York February 22, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

Uber’s license expired on Sept. 30 but its roughly 40,000 drivers are still be able to take passengers until an appeals process is exhausted, which could take several months.

Khosrowshahi was appointed Uber chief executive in August, replacing co-founder and former boss Travis Kalanick and has promised change at the $70-billion dollar firm.

He is battling to steer a new course for the app, which has faced regulatory crackdowns, court cases, bans and protests around the world, as well as several boardroom controversies.

In a bid to repair relations with London, Khosrowshahi struck a more conciliatory tone in an open letter to Londoners last week, marking a new approach…

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