Uber chief promises 50,000 jobs in Europe under new deal
19 January 2015
The chief executive of the online taxi-sharing firm Uber Travis Kalanick said he wanted to make 2015 a year of rapid expansion in Europe, BBC reported.
Kalanick told a conference in Munich, that a ''new partnership'' with European cities would enable Uber create 50,000 jobs.
Uber had been the subject of criticism leveled by regulators and established taxi operators across the world.
According to commentators, Kalanick's comments amounted to a bid to build bridges with critics.
The service which allows users to summon taxi-like services on their smartphones, started four years ago and now operated in 250 cities worldwide.
The San Francisco start-up had been valued at $40 billion on the basis of the latest fundraising from investors.
The company, however, was accused of flouting competition rules and of not carrying out safety checks on drivers and their vehicles.
Uber was facing court injunctions in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, and had faced protests from taxi firms in major cities, including London.
Kalanick told the DLD conference for the media and tech industry: "Uber is committed to establishing new partnerships with Europe's cities to ensure innovation, harness powerful economic benefits and promote core city functions."
Kalanick said he wanted to work with politicians to find ways for Uber to operate legally across the EU, The New York Times reported.
"We want to make 2015 the year when we create new partnerships with European cities," said Kalanick, who added that he expected to spend more time in Europe this year. "If we can make those partnerships happen, we could create 50,000 new jobs."
He sent out a message to European policymakers that the company represented an opportunity - and not a threat - to the economies of cities.
However, a number of politicians across the 28-member EU, who had accused the company of failing to comply with local transportation rules, are not impressed.
The company had to shut down its operations in Spain, after a local judge said that the company failed to comply with the country's taxi rules and potentially amounted to unfair competition for taxi drivers.
Similar rulings had pronounced in several European cities, including Berlin and Amsterdam, and over 10,000 taxi drivers from Madrid to Milan took to the streets last year to protest the rapid growth of the company.