(Reuters) – London’s public transport authority stripped Indian ride-hailing company Ola of its London operating licence, saying that the taxi app was not “fit and proper” to hold one, having put passenger safety at risk.
Bengaluru-based Ola entered the London taxi market in February this year. The market is dominated by rivals including Uber <UBER.N>, Freenow and Bolt, and traditional black cab drivers who previously blocked streets in protest at what they see as a threat to their livelihoods.
Transport for London (TfL) said in a statement that it refused to grant Ola, a Softbank-backed <9984.T> operator, a new London private hire vehicle (PHV) operator’s licence as it “cannot find it fit and proper to hold one after discovering a number of failures that could have risked public safety.”
TfL’s decision came days after Uber won a legal bid to restore its London operating licence, which was
Uber has won its appeal against having its licence to operate withdrawn in London.
In today’s judgement the court decided it was satisfied with process improvements made by the ride-hailing company, including around its communication with the city’s transport regulator.
The new licence comes with 21 conditions, jointly suggested to the Magistrate by Uber and TfL.
However it’s still not clear how long Uber will be granted a licence for — with the judge wanting to hear more evidence before taking a decision.
We’ve reached out to Uber and TfL for comment.
The ride-sharing giant has faced a multi-year battle to have its licence reinstated after Transport for London, the city’s transport regulator, took the shock decision not to issue a renewal in 2017 — citing safety concerns and deeming Uber not “fit and proper” to hold a private hire operator licence.