World News – GB – TfL bans Uber Ola rival for ‘public safety’ breaches

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City editor
@MarkKleinmanSky

London’s transport regulator has banned one of the capital’s most important ridesharing services, days after Uber Technologies was re-licensed following court challenge

Sky News has learned that Ola, an Indian group that only started operations in London in February, has learned that her license will not be renewed due to « public safety » breaches

Ola, which is backed by the Vision Fund of Japanese tech giant SoftBank, was reportedly told last week by Transport for London (TfL) that it was not « appropriate » to hold an operator license private rental

The move is a blow to Ola, who claimed earlier this year that they have 25,000 registered drivers on their platform in London and who also serve dozens of other cities in the UK including Birmingham, Cardiff , Coventry and Liverpool

In a statement released following a Sky News investigation on Sunday evening, TfL said it discovered a number of failures in Ola’s operations, including violations of his regime that drove drivers and vehicles without a license to make more than 1000 passenger trips on the name of the platform

The Indian group, which claims to have made more than a billion trips for passengers around the world, has 21 days to appeal the decision of TfL

In her statement, which is due to be released widely on Monday, Helen Chapman, TfL’s director of licensing, regulation and pricing, said: « Our duty as a regulator is to ensure safety passengers

« Through our investigations, we discovered that flaws in Ola’s operating model led to the use of unlicensed drivers and vehicles in more than 1,000 passenger trips, which may have put endanger the safety of passengers

« If they appeal, Ola can continue to operate and drivers can continue to make reservations on Ola’s behalf

It was not clear on Sunday night whether Ola was planning to appeal, although given his prediction that he could overtake Uber in London within a year of launch, it seems unlikely that he will withdraws from such a lucrative market without fighting

In August, Ola announced a strategic partnership with Gett, another carpooling service, to offer Gett’s business customers access to the Ola platform in London

Ola claims to have been at the forefront of public safety improvements in its UK operations, requiring drivers to clean and disinfect their cars between each trip

Marc Rozendal, Managing Director of Ola UK, said just a few weeks ago: “The partnership with Gett and its leading business offering opens up a huge market for Ola’s platform as travel begins to pick up in London, allowing us to further advance business user demand for carpooling

« This is a further step in our mission to connect people and empower mobility for people in the UK and around the world »

Ola was founded in 2011 by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, and now operates in over 110 cities with 1 million drivers using taxis, rickshaws and taxis

Ola’s ban comes less than a week after Westminster Magistrates’ Court overturned Uber’s ban, granting him an 18-month license after an appeal

This was the second time Uber was not fit and fit by TfL due to concerns about passenger safety

The latest license extension came with 21 terms the company agreed with TfL, prompting Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London and chairman of TfL, to pledge to continue to monitor the company

© 2020 Sky France

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SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com/news/world-news-gb-tfl-bans-uber-ola-rival-for-public-safety-breaches/?remotepost=379085

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