Updated: Dec 17, 2021
Global ride-hailing app Ola has been handed a new 15-month London Private Hire Operator's Licence following its court appeal earlier this week.
The ride-hailing firm Ola can now continue to operate under a Transport for London (TfL) licence with ‘stringent conditions attached’, while it demonstrates that its terms and conditions of business are compliant with the Divisional Court judgment.
A TfL spokesperson said: “In October 2020, TfL refused Ola a licence to operate due to significant concerns with its systems and processes that were in place at that time.
“Since then Ola has taken a number of steps to resolve the issues identified by TfL.
“Subject to TfL and the Court being satisfied that Ola’s terms and conditions of business are compliant with the Divisional Court judgment, Ola will be granted a licence for 15 months with stringent conditions attached.”
Ola appealed against TfL’s refusal to renew them a Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) operator's licence back in October 2020.
The appeal was heard this week at Westminster Magistrates' Court before Deputy Senior District Judge Tan Ikram.
In October 2020 TfL refused to grant Ola a new PHV operator’s licence. The regulator at the time could not find the operator fit and proper to hold one after discovering a number of failures that could have risked public safety.
Ola has been operating in London since February 2020 and made TfL aware of a number of failures that had potential public safety consequences. These included:
Historic breaches of the licensing regime that led to unlicensed drivers and vehicles undertaking more than 1,000 passenger trips on behalf of Ola
Failure to draw these breaches to TfL’s attention immediately when they were first identified.
Upon winning back its licence this week, Ola has agreed to pay TfL’s costs.
Ola officially launched in London in February 2020 following its UK launch in August 2018, and operates in 27 cities in the UK and over 250 globally.
Marc Rozendal, Managing Director of Ola UK, said: “We welcome the licence decision, which reflects our continuous commitment and proactive approach to providing safe and reliable services in London and the steps we have taken in the last 14 months.
“We will comply with the requirements set out in the order. We look forward to continue working closely and collaboratively with TfL and providing our services to riders and drivers in London."