Uber vows to create 50,000 jobs in European cities

Taxi-hailing app wants to work with EU cities to improve jobs and reduce congestion

Uber has pledged to create 50,000 new jobs across Europe by the end of the year if cities approve its service.

CEO of the taxi-hailing app, Travis Kalanick, hopes the promise of jobs will strengthen the controversial company's links with city administrators after seeing its service banned in Belgium, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.

Speaking at the DLD conference yesterday, he said: "We want to make 2015 the year where we establish a new partnership with EU cities.

"At the end of 2015, if we can make these partnerships happen, we create 50,000 new EU jobs."

Uber allows people to hail taxis using their smartphones, and operates in 250 cities around the globe.

However, the four-year-old company courted controversy throughout 2014, being accused of putting black cab drivers out of business.

It's also taken criticism for its fare-calculating algorithm after it pushed up fares in central Sydney during a hostage crisis in December. People escaping the scene were charged four times the usual rate.

A woman who claims she was raped in India by an Uber driver is also suing the company.

Despite all this, use of the app skyrocketed last year, if the firm is to be believed, and Kalanick said 1.6 million unique rides in San Francisco alone equated to 7,500 full-time jobs for drivers.

He added his company could work with cities to establish a regulatory framework that would both create jobs and reduce congestion.

Meanwhile, Uber is developing new software to perform background checks on potential drivers, as well as improving communication with police and other law enforcement agencies to bolster the security of the service.

"Uber wants to partner closely with tax authorities to increase transportation providers' compliance and overall tax revenue for cities and countries across Europe ," said Kalanick.

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