India-based Ola has suffered another setback after failing to get its Transport for London ride-hailing license renewed due to failure of some of TfL’s public safety requirements specifically around licensing for drivers and vehicles.
This could be a piece of benefiting news for Uber which won its appeal against London transportation regulators about a week ago and will continue to operate in London for 18 months.
Ola on the other hand says it plans to appeal against the decision made by the authorities and it will continue to operate while appealing a decision as per the rules by TfL.
Sky News firstly reported about the news of Ola failing to get its license renewed which notes that the TfL discovered multiple failures in how Ola operates, specifically around its use of unlicensed drivers and vehicles covering more than 1,000 passenger trips, “which may have put passenger safety at risk,” according to a statement from Helen Chapman, TfL’s director of licensing, regulation and charging.
The company plans to defend itself with the claim that the issue was partly technical as the company and TfL used different conventions in its databases to track licensing for drivers and vehicles. The reports notes that the authorities found a big gap between the licensed and unlicensed drivers which made a serious safety issue for TfL, not knowing that the company was working to fix as a priority going forward.
“At Ola, our core principle is to work closely, collaboratively and transparently with regulators such as TfL, We have been working with TfL during the review period and have sought to provide assurances and address the issues raised in an open and transparent manner. Ola will take the opportunity to appeal this decision and in doing so, our riders and drivers can rest assured that we will continue to operate as normal, providing safe and reliable mobility for London.”Marc Rozendal, Ola’s UK MD, said in a statement.
Ola entered the UK in February this year and since then the company has signed up over 25,000 drivers but the company neither disclosed the number of rides it has completed nor the number of passengers it has amassed since started operations.