Transport for London has refused Ola’s operating licence after public safety concerns over ‘unlicensed’ drivers.
It is reported that TfL’s decision followed data anomalies within the Ola app, which led to unlicensed drivers and vehicles carrying out more than 1,000 trips on the platform. Ola began operating in London in February 2020.
Helen Chapman, TfL’s director of licensing, regulation and charging, said in a statement: “Our duty as a regulator is to ensure passenger safety. Through our investigations we discovered that flaws in Ola’s operating model have led to the use of unlicensed drivers and vehicles in more than 1,000 passenger trips, which may have put passenger safety at risk.”
“If they do appeal, Ola can continue to operate and drivers can continue to undertake bookings on behalf of Ola. We will closely scrutinise the company to ensure passengers’ safety is not compromised.”
Ola said it would appeal TfL’s decision. Marc Rozendal, Ola’s UK managing director, said in a statement: “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.”