London Mayor Sadiq Khan welcomed the "humility" of Uber's new Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi who visited the UK capital on Tuesday in order to hold talks with Transport for London Commissioner Mike Brown after the ride-hailing service provider was denied a license renewal request by the local administration. The company's operating license officially expired on September 30th but it's still allowed to operate in the city while competent officials are reviewing its appeal, though Uber isn't seeking to rectify the situation solely through legal remedies. Instead, Mr. Khosrowshahi opted to initiate a new dialogue with the London administration in the hopes of mutually coming to a solution that would satisfy both sides.
While speaking with radio LFC earlier today, Mayor Khan still criticized Uber's decisions that led to the current state of affairs, prompting Transport for London to deny the firm a license renewal application over a lack of corporate responsibility, citing concerns related to hiring practices, working conditions, and passenger safety. While Mr. Khan reiterated some of the points made by the TFL Commissioner in September, he also admitted that Mr. Khosrowshahi's approach to the situation is a welcome one and said that an amicable solution still isn't off the table, suggesting that the dispute may not end up in court like some industry watchers initially predicted. Uber CEO also met a number of drivers during his Tuesday visit to London before speaking with Mr. Brown over a potential resolution as part of a move that Mayor Khan suggested may be the beginning of mutually beneficial talks on the matter.
The meeting itself was not only encouraged by the Mayor but arranged upon his direct request even though the city head fully supported the TFL's original decision which deemed Uber unfit to hold an operating license in London. Apart from being one of its largest markets, London is also an attractive proposition for Uber's main rivals, with Lyft reportedly considering starting its global expansion with the UK capital. Uber paid only 3,000 pounds for a five-year license in 2012 and even if it manages to receive approval for an equivalent renewal, London's new licensing system would see it presented with a fee of nearly $4 million.