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Uber hopes for fresh start with Europe, says it can create 50,000 jobs

Uber says it’s aiming to create around 50,000 Europe-based jobs by the end of this year via an expansion that could see 400,000 cars taken off the road.

Speaking at the Digital-Life-Design conference in Munich over the weekend, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick spelled out plans apparently geared toward easing tension between the company and regulators in a number of European countries where the ride-hailing service has recently come under fire.

Kalanick said his company is talking with governments for permission to expand its UberPool service that allows more than one passenger to share a ride if they’re going the same way, a step he believes will help reduce the number of cars on the road, with the knock-on effect of reduced emissions.

In another comment that’s likely to have Europe-based regulators sitting up and taking notice, Kalanick said he wanted to cooperate more with tax bodies to increase transportation providers’ compliance, noting that an app-based service like his comprises an on-the-grid system while many services currently deal largely in cash payments, some of which may go unreported, affecting a city’s tax revenue.

Uber has faced protests from traditional taxi firms in countries around the world, including many in Europe. The company has been accused of ignoring local regulations, as well as operating without implementing adequate safety procedures, including vehicle checks and background checks on drivers.

France, Germany, and Spain, among a number of other European countries, have slapped the San Francisco-based firm with court injunctions in the past, action that has prompted Kalanick to search for a trouble-free way forward in the region.

The service, which currently operates in some 250 cities in 50 countries, is currently working with various authorities to ensure public safety, and to enable choice and competition to thrive, the Uber boss said.

Should regulators in Europe ease restrictions and give Uber an easier ride, Kalanick believes his company can create an extra 50,000 jobs before the end of the year.

In a post on Uber’s blog, the company said it was committed to “establishing new partnerships with Europe’s cities to ensure innovation, harness powerful economic benefits and promote core city functions.”