Uber has been given a reprieve in London, being granted a temporary 15-month licence to operate in the capital.
The ride-sharing platform had its licence stripped in September after Transport for London (TfL) deemed that it had failed to report serious criminal offences and also failed to carry out proper background checks on drivers. Now with new senior management in place, including new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber has pledged to 'make things right'.
Judge Emma Arbuthnot said that changes made by Uber in light of the previous ruling were enough for it to be considered 'fit and proper' to run in London. As a result, the company was granted a 15-month licence to operate – falling way short of the five-year one it applied for last September when TfL chose to not renew it.
'I believe everyone must play by the same rules, no matter how big or powerful they are,' London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement. 'Uber has been put on probation – their 15 month license has a clear set of conditions that TfL will thoroughly monitor and enforce.'
This doesn't mark the end of the TfL-Uber war though. In light of the court ruling, TfL has said that it was considering the decision, and would take action if Uber fell short on standards once again. TfL now also has the ability to monitor what Uber is doing, with an independent report of safety related complaints assurance and audit report every six months. Uber has also introduced 24/7 telephone support for its 45,000 London drivers, which was brought in while it continued to operate under appeal.
Uber's change in London comes as part of a wider initiative to work better with regulators across the world. Another example is in New York, were it agreed to a limit on the number of cars allowed in the city, a move previous chief executive Travis Kalanick was resistant to.
'Uber has been forced to overhaul the way it operates not just in London but across the world,' said London Mayor Kahn.