Uber loses licence; rival Ola revs up operations to enter London’s market

Bengaluru-based taxi hailing app company Ola, which was founded in 2011, has 125 million customers and is already present in 110 cities. It soon plans to start operating in South Wales and Greater Manchester in UK. The company is already operating in British cities such as Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool.

Ola was granted a licence from Transport for London (TfL) earlier this year. "We are inviting the tens of thousands of private hire drivers across London to register themselves on the Ola platform, as we prepare to launch in the city in the coming weeks," Ola's Head of International Simon Smith said in a statement.

"We have had constructive conversations with the authorities, drivers, and local communities in London over the past months."

Mr Smith said the company has built a "robust mobility platform for London which is fully compliant with TfL's high standards".

Currently, Ola only operates in three countries, India, New Zealand and Australia, UK will be the fourth country where Ola plans to spread its wings.

This news comes days after Uber was denied a new licence to operate in London after repeated issues of safety failures.

On Monday, the UK regulator said the US ride sharing taxi app was not "fit and proper" as a licence holder, despite having made a number of positive changes to its operations.

Uber initially lost its licence in 2017 but was granted two extensions, the most recent of which expired this week.

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