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London bans Ola cabs for posing threat to public safety
Ola made over 1,000 trips by unlicensed drivers which “may have put passenger safety at risk.”

LONDON, Oct 6: The London transport regulator has banned Ola cab service in the city for lack of public safety even as its rival Uber got its licence back for another year-and-a-half after its appeal was upheld. Ola reportedly did not meet the public safety requirements stipulated by the authority to renew the licence, said Transport for London (TfL), the Capital's transport authority.

The regulator said Ola made over 1,000 trips by unlicensed drivers which “may have put passenger safety at risk.” The company has 21 days to appeal against the decision and can continue operations in the meantime.

Ola had begun commercial services in London in February last with over 25,000 drivers. The ride-hailing company began operating in Cardiff in 2018 and has since spread to other UK locations.

"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," Helen Chapman, TfL's director of licensing, regulation and charging, said.

"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's UK Managing Director Marc Rozendal said in a statement, "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."

Last week the other ride-hailing company, Uber got its right to continue operating in London after a judge upheld its appeal against TfL.

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