London’s transport regulator has prohibited one of the capital’s most prominent ride-hailing services, days after Uber Systems was awarded a new licence carrying out a legal challenge.
Atmosphere News has learnt that Ola, an Indian group which just began operating in London in Feb, has been told that its license will not be renewed because of “public safety” failings.
Ola, that is backed by the Japanese technology large SoftBank’s Vision Fund, is realized to have been told last week simply by Transport for London (TfL) it turned out not “fit and proper” to keep a private hire operator’s licence.
The decision is a bitter strike to Ola, which claimed recording to have 25, 000 drivers authorized on its platform in London plus which also serves dozens of some other UK cities, including Birmingham, Cardiff, Coventry and Liverpool.
In a statement issued following a good enquiry from Sky News upon Sunday evening, TfL said this had discovered a number of failures within Ola’s operations, including breaches from the regime which led to unlicensed motorists and vehicles undertaking more than one, 000 passenger trips on the platform’s behalf.
Ola also stands arrested of failing to notify TfL of these transgressions.
The particular Indian group, which says they have carried out more than 1bn trips intended for passengers around the world, has 21 times to appeal against TfL’s choice.
In its statement, which is likely to be released widely on Mon, Helen Chapman, TfL’s director associated with licensing, regulation and charging, stated: “Our duty as a regulator would be to ensure passenger safety.
“Through our investigations we found that flaws in Ola’s operating design have led to the use of unlicensed motorists and vehicles in more than one, 000 passenger trips, which may possess put passenger safety at risk.
“If they do appeal, Ola can continue to operate and drivers can certainly still undertake bookings on behalf of Ola.
“We will closely scrutinise the company to ensure passengers’ safety is not really compromised. ”
It had been unclear on Sunday night regardless of whether Ola planned to appeal, even though given its prediction that it can overtake Uber in London within a yr of launch, it seems unlikely in order to withdraw from such a potentially profitable market without a fight.
In August, Ola announced an organized partnership with Gett, another ride-hailing service, to offer Gett’s corporate customers access to Ola’s platform in London.
Ola claims it has been within the vanguard of public safety enhancements at its UK operations, presenting a requirement for drivers to clean plus disinfect their cars between every ride.
Marc Rozendal, Ola’s UK managing director, stated just weeks ago: “Partnering along with Gett and its leading offering just for corporates opens a large market with regard to Ola’s platform as travel starts to resume in London, allowing us to help scale by meeting the apparent demand from corporate users regarding consumer ride-hailing.
“This is yet another step in our mission for connecting people and build mobility for individuals in the UK and around the world. ”
Ola was founded in 2011 simply by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, and now operates in more than 110 cities through 1m drivers making use of cabs, auto-rickshaws, and taxis.
The ban on Ola comes less than a week after Westminster magistrates’ court overturned a ban on Uber , granting it an 18-month license following an appeal.
It was the second time that Uber had been found not to be match and proper by TfL more than concerns about passenger safety.
The latest extension of its license came with 21 conditions agreed from the company with TfL, prompting Sadiq Khan, the mayor of Greater london and TfL chairman, to promise to continue monitoring the company.
Ola was contacted for opinion.