London's Not Calling - Uber Competitor Denied License

Issue 39

10.05.20 - London transport officials have refused to grant a new license to Ola over safety concerns, stating that the Indian ride-hailing app is not "fit and proper to hold one."

Transport for London issued a statement recently clarifying that more than 1,000 trips have been made on the app through unlicensed vehicles and drivers, and Ola had failed to notify the regulator of the breaches when they were first identified.

"Our duty as a regulator is to ensure passenger safety," said Helen Chapman, the director of licensing, regulation and charging at Transport for London. "We will closely scrutinize the company to ensure passenger safety is not compromised."

Ola is one of a number of apps - including Bolt, Kapten and ViaVan - to compete with Uber and traditional black cabs in the lucrative market of London. The company said in a statement that they would appeal the decision, and the app will be able to continue operating in London during the appeals process.

Uber has also faced a lengthy battle with regulators in the city. London first refused to renew the US company's license in 2017, citing several concerns about how it responded to serious crimes. Uber then appealed that decision and was later granted a license to operate for 15 months. The regulator again declined to grant Uber a license late last year, but the company received a new license for 18 months after a judge ruled it had a right to continue operating in London.

Source: BBC News