The Indian ride-hailing service Ola said on Monday that it could appeal a decision by London transport authorities to “deny licenses beyond the number of failures that could put public safety at risk”.
Ola, who has been working in London since February 2020, was granted a 15-month license by Transport for London (TfL) on 4 July 2019, which expired on Saturday. Officials said after filing this appeal that the company could hold the outcome of any appeal process pending.
Ola UK Managing Director Mark Rozendal said: “At Ola, our core principle is to work collaboratively and transparently with regulators like TfL. We are working with TFL during the review period and have sought to assure 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 assure that we will continue to operate as usual, providing safe and reliable mobility for London.”
TfL, the public body responsible for the capital’s network, said that before licensing, it must be satisfied that the operator is ‘fit and proper’ to hold a private operator’s license. Ola also operates in south-west England.
TfL said the number of failures, along with potential public safety consequences, include historic violations of the licensing regime that led to unlicensed vehicles and vehicles carrying more than 1,000 passengers traveling on Ola.
Furthermore, it stated that these violations resulted in a failure to bring TfL to the notice immediately when they were first identified.
Helen Chapman of TfL said: “Our duty as a regulator is to ensure passenger safety. Through our investigation, we came to know that flaws in Ola’s operating model have resulted in the use of unlicensed drivers and vehicles in more than 1,000 passenger trips, which could endanger passenger safety. “
“If they appeal, Ola can continue to work and drivers can continue booking on behalf of Ola. We will examine the company closely to ensure safety of passengers is not compromised. “
TfL had raised similar issues with Ula’s rival, Uber. On 28 September, the Westminster Magistrate Court ruled that Uber, whose license was revoked last November, is now ‘fit and proper’ to run private car services after addressing the issues.
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