Uber rival Ola begins London operations
Ride-hailing service Ola has announced that it will begin to register licensed drivers in London ahead of its launch in the capital.
Ola already has more than 10,000 drivers across 21 UK boroughs cities outside of London, including Reading, Bristol, Manchester and Liverpool. It said it will allow black cabs to use the service.
The Bangalore headquartered firm first announced its plan for a London launch in July, with an original target of late summer.
“We are inviting the tens of thousands of PHV drivers across London to register themselves on the Ola platform, as we prepare to launch in the city in the coming weeks,” said Simon Smith, head of international at Ola.
“We have built a robust mobility platform for London which is fully compliant with TfL’s high standards. We have had constructive conversations with the authorities, drivers, and local communities in London over the past months, and look forward to contributing towards solving mobility issues in innovative and meaningful ways.”
Among Ola’s touted technology is driver image verification against driving licence photographs, which it said eliminates misrepresentation and re-entry of blocked drivers.
The announcement comes in the same week that Transport for London revoked Uber’s licence to operate in the capital citing a pattern of regulatory breaches which put passengers at risk.
These included misuse of its driver’s app, allowing for a registered driver’s photo to be swapped for a photo of anyone else.
Uber said it made Transport for London aware of the issue and it is now fixed. It is in the process of appealing the decision.
If unsuccessful, some 40,000 Uber drivers operating in the city will be affected.