Indian ride-hailing company Ola is now onboarding drivers in London ahead of the official launch, Ola said in the statement. Ola's announcement came at a time when rival Uber is losing the license to operate in London. The Transport for London (TfL) has already denied a new 15-month license due to concerns about impostor drivers.
Ola managed to secure an operating licence from Transport for London (TfL) earlier this year. Ola announced that it has begun registering licenced drivers in London as it prepares to launch operations in the city.
More than 50,000 licenced drivers will now continue to offer Ola's ride-hailing service in London. Ola launched its operations in the UK starting with Cardiff in August 2018. Ola has been expanding across the UK and serving millions of users across cities like Birmingham, Liverpool, Exeter, Reading, Bristol, among others.
"We have built a robust mobility platform for London, which is fully compliant with TfL’s high standards," Simon Smith, Head of International, Ola said.
"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," Smith added.
Transport for London (TfL) on Monday refused to renew Uber's license to operate in the city because of safety and security concerns. TfL said Uber was not "fit and proper" as a licence holder despite having made a number of positive changes to its operations.
"Transport for London (TfL) has concluded that it will not grant Uber London Limited (Uber) a new private hire operator's licence in response to its latest application," it said in a statement.
The Uber said it would appeal against the decision because it was "extraordinary and wrong". Meanwhile, it can continue to operate until the appeals process is ongoing.
Uber losing operating license in London will certainly benefit Ola, which clinched an agreement for its entry into the London market in July. Ola's model, already operational across a number of regions in the UK, is expected to involve London's traditional black cabs also to use the ride-hailing service.
(With PTI inputs)