Ola to appeal London transportation body decision over operating licenses

Ola to appeal London transportation body decision over operating licenses
Photo Credit: Reuters
6 Oct, 2020

Homegrown ride hailing company Ola said that it has addressed the issues flagged by local government body Transport for London (TfL) and will appeal the regulator’s decision regarding its operating license by October 15.

On October 3, TfL declined to renew Ola’s operator licence, citing concerns over passenger safety. The Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) operating licence is mandatory to operate taxis and on-demand cabs in London. The transport regulator reportedly said that unlicensed drivers had made over 1,000 trips on the Ola app, among other failings. 

Ola has appealed the decision, and in the interim, will continue to take bookings in London, confirmed the company. 

In a statement, Marc Rozendal, managing director at Ola UK, said: “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.”

Ola first launched its services in the city in February 2020 and was granted a licence to operate in July 2019. In February, Ola claimed to have 25,000 drivers on its app for the city and was viewed as a strong contender to Uber, which had a presence in the city since 2012. 

In fact, Uber got back its license to operate in the city of London only in September after winning a court appeal. TfL had declined to renew Uber’s PHV licence in 2019, citing the issue of unauthorised drivers using the platform for trips. Uber too was allowed to operate during the appeal process.