Uber to share its London data in latest charm offensive

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LONDON (Reuters) – Uber [UBER.UL] said on Thursday it will share data gathered from the millions of trips its cars make in London in the latest move to meet requests from the city’s regulator, which stripped the taxi app of its license last year.

FILE PHOTO: A photo illustration shows the Uber app logo displayed on a mobile telephone, as it is held up for a posed photograph in central London, Britain October 28, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Illustration/File Photo

Uber is fighting to keep its 40,000 drivers operating on the roads of Britain’s capital city, its most important European market, after Transport for London (TfL) deemed it not “fit and proper” to run a taxi service, in a move which it is appealing.

The Silicon Valley firm has announced a number of changes to its business model in recent months including the introduction of 24/7 telephone support and the proactive reporting of serious incidents to London’s police.

On Thursday, it said anyone would be able to look at its anonymised information, including on past travel conditions and how journey times in different areas of London are affected by events and road closures.

“We’ve heard feedback from the cities we operate in that access to some of our aggregated data could help inform transport policy and future investments,” Uber’s Head of UK Cities Fred Jones said.

“… we want to be a better partner to city planners and regulators, so we hope this data will help give them valuable insights for the future.”

Last month, TfL said operators should “share travel pattern data to improve understanding of their services” as part of proposals to shake up the private hire industry.

On Thursday the transport authority said it welcomed any move which provided greater insight.

The service, called Uber Movement, will also be rolled out in Birmingham and Manchester in the coming months.

Uber’s license in Birmingham has been extended while the council continues to consider its renewal request.

Editing by Stephen Addison