In a letter to Portland’s elected officials, Uber has apologized for what it calls "past missteps" during what’s been a combative municipal-private company relationship.
Alejandro Chouza, Uber’s general manager for the Pacific Northwest, added that he wants to "collaborate in moving the city forward."
Portland’s City Council had voted a year ago to issue a legislative subpoena requesting information and documents related to software that Uber used to evade city regulators in 2014. The Greyball software helped the company avoid local regulations in Portland and elsewhere.
It’s one of many such charges that have beset Uber through the years.
Here’s the full text of the letter.
Dear Honorable Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Honorable City Commissioners Chloe Eudaly, Nick Fish, Amanda Fritz, and Dan Saltzman,
As Uber’s General Manager for the Pacific Northwest it is my responsibility to help write the next chapter for Uber in Portland, and implement the vision and expectations set by our new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi. I write today to acknowledge certain missteps by Uber in Portland since we began operating there in December of 2014, and to make commitments for how we will conduct ourselves going forward.
We pledge to be long-term partners in working with you to further improve access to reliable, affordable and safe transportation options in this rapidly-growing and changing metro region. Our commitment is to conduct our business here with integrity, humility, and a passion for improving the community.
While we are proud of how we have grown to provide flexible work opportunities to more than 7,000 rideshare drivers who serve more than 348,000 riders every month in and around Portland, we have made mistakes. At times, we conducted operations in a way that failed to live up to the Portland way of collaboration and transparency. For that we apologize.
You have our firm commitment that we will work to make things right, and be as collaborative as possible to keep this emerging global city moving forward.
We have already established active partnerships with public agencies and community organizations to improve urban mobility. This includes working with TriMet to develop the first multi-modal open trip planning app in the nation, and supporting organizations like Street Roots, Community Warehouse, Dress for Success, and Basic Rights Oregon to promote equity and economic opportunity for historically underserved communities.
We pledge to continue and expand on this work in the years to come.
Uber General Manager for the Pacific Northwest