London transport authority does not renew Ola licence; ride-hailing firm to appeal decision

Transport for London does not renew Ola licence; sources in the ride-hailing unicorn say ‘technical reasons’ that are solvable to blame.

The government body of UK capital’s transport network, Transport for London (TfL) refused to renew the licence of ride-hailing unicorn Ola. According to sources inside Ola, the licence has not been renewed due to some ‘technical reasons’ that are solvable. 

Marc Rozendal, Managing Director at Ola UK, said:

“At Ola, 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." 

Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Ola

Bengaluru-based Ola forayed into the UK in 2018, starting its operations in Cardiff. It had received its operating licence from TlF last year. The startup started its London operations from February 10, 2020.

"TfL has an important job to do and Ola will help them do this, constructively and cooperatively. It is important to note for riders, drivers, and TfL, that all issues have been corrected and we are confident we can demonstrate this on appeal," a source inside the company said.

Sources inside Ola said contrary to reports Ola's services had not been banned and the ride-hailing giant would continue to operate. "The decision accords us the opportunity to appeal, which we will exercise so our operations will continue as usual," the source says.

Earlier last year YourStory had reported that Uber had lost its licence to operate in London. According to reports, Uber was granted a new 18-months licence early last week as a judge overturned the ban.

Sources inside Ola said due to the ongoing situation, the ride-hailing startup is expecting a shorter timeline for hearing of the appeal. 

Edited by Teja Lele