- Uber will be able to operate in London on a 15-month probationary license, a British court ruled Tuesday, according to CNN and others.
- The ride-hailing company had been forced into an appeal after Transport for London (TfL) did not renew its license last September, claiming the company was not “fit and proper.” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has apologized for its previous mistakes and pledged to partner with London officials to “make things right,” per CNN.
- "We are pleased with today's decision," Uber said in a statement. "We will continue to work with Transport for London to address their concerns and earn their trust."
After months of legal wrangling, this is a major victory for Uber and the relatively-new Khosrowshahi, who took over as CEO 10 months ago pledging to reform the company after a series of missteps. And while this may not be the full five-year renewal the company was seeking, it represents real progress for the app as it looks to regain the trust of London leaders after earning criticism for the way it reported crimes and used Greyball, a software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from getting full access to the app.
London officials sounded a cautiously optimistic tone, with Mayor Sadiq Khan telling CNN before the ruling that Khosrowshahi has been “talking with humility” and that a future partnership between the city and Uber can be productive. “I think what he’s been saying bodes well for them realizing that they can’t behave in an arrogant manner, and they can’t behave in a way that breaks the rules,” Khan told CNN at the time. For his part, Khosrowshahi has said in previous public events that he wants Uber to be a good partner with the cities where it operates.
Perhaps this ruling represents the latest new dawn for Uber as it looks to shrug off a poor reputation around the world. In the United States, the company has apologized to the city of Portland, OR for “certain missteps” and has worked to integrate and ingratiate itself with the likes of public transportation companies and taxi services. Only time will tell if the company has truly changed, but city leaders should take great heart from its progress so far, which this legal decision affirms.