Cities who cooperate with the taxi-hailing firm will see job growth and rising tax revenues, promises Uber chief Kalanick
The chief executive of smartphone taxi service Uber has promised thousands of new jobs in Europe for cities who join in a “new partnership” with the controversial start-up.
San Francisco-based Uber, which allows users to summon cars using a smartphone app, launched in 2010 and now operates in 250 cities worldwide, but has attracted criticism for ignoring local regulations and failing to carry out sufficient safety checks.
The company has been targeted by court injunctions in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain and taxi firms in a number of cities, including London, have protested against it.
Speaking at a conference in Munich, Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick urged cities to work with the company in order to spur growth.
“Uber is committed to establishing new partnerships with Europe’s cities to ensure innovation, harness powerful economic benefits and promote core city functions,” he told the DLD media and tech conference, according to the BBC. “At the end of 2015, if we can make these partnerships happen, we create 50,000 new EU jobs.”
He said Uber is working with governments on rules to ensure public safety is protected, while allowing free competition and promoting economic growth and rising tax revenues.
He acknowledged the need for better “communication” with local officials and law enforcement, and said the company is developing technology to help do so, as well as to carry out background checks and improve safety.
Uber has previously taken an aggressive attitude toward existing regulations governing transportation services. In his speech Kalanick acknowledged that rules and safety checks have their place, saying it had been “easy to say something flippantly negative about every law” in the past.
The company is being sued in US courts by an Indian woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted by an Uber driver, who was later found to have a previous record of such attacks.
Uber is currently valued at $40bn (£25.5bn) based on its most recent round of investment funding, making it until recently the world’s most valuable start-up.
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