Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi is coming to London next week after the company was denied an operating license and Transport for London essentially signaled it's looking to kick it out of one of the largest and richest cities on the planet, the competent agency confirmed on Friday. Transport Commissioner Mike Brown is hence set to meet with Mr. Khosrowshahi on Tuesday at a specific request of London mayor Sadiq Khan. Mr. Khan himself supported the TFL's decision to deny Uber an operating license renewal, stating that the company needs to abide by all the rules that apply to its competitors but subsequently urged for additional dialogue on the matter.
Earlier this month, the TFL deemed Uber unfit to hold a private hire operator license and accused the company of a lack of corporate responsibility, arguing that the San Francisco, California-based ride-hailing service provider offers inadequate working conditions and doesn't do enough to ensure customer safety, in addition to mentioning a number of other issues. While Uber struggles to remedy the situation and find a way to have its license renewed, its largest domestic competitor Lyft is reportedly considering an international expansion starting with London and has already held several talks on the matter with local officials. Uber entered London in 2012 and paid only 3,000 pounds for a five-year operating license, whereas a hypothetical renewal would now set it back almost $3 million under the new licensing system which went into force earlier this month. The company previously said it agrees with paying higher fees given the sheer volume of its operations.
Uber presently remains in London where it operates with a four-month private hire operator license which was given to it in late May when the company applied for another five-year renewal and is expiring tomorrow. The TFL initially refused issuing a second long-term license as it was then still in the process of designing a new license fee system which is now in force. The firm has two more weeks to officially appeal the TFL's decision and has previously confirmed it will exhaust all of its legal remedies before agreeing to leave London. In the meantime, the ride-hailing giant is legally allowed to continue operating in the city even after its license officially expires, so long as its appeal is being reviewed by competent authorities.