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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:20 pm 
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Uber-style taxi firm bids to work in Luton

https://www.lutontoday.co.uk/news/busin ... -1-8799215

A rival of taxi firm Uber is set to throw its hat into the ring in Luton using mobile technology.

Ola UK Private Limited is applying for an operators’ licence in the town this week.

If approved, the firm would use an app-based booking system accessible via your mobile phone.

The Indian-based company would operate out of Capability Green, and is keen to expand in the UK market.

It began the process last August initially targetting South Wales, Bristol and Exeter.

If the company receives a private operators’ licence in Luton it will appoint a day-to day operations manager for administration and marketing.

It said in its application to the borough council: “All bookings on our platform are fully automated.”

Both passengers and taxi drivers have to register via the app, so payments are made digitally at the end of a trip, rather than direct to the driver.

It is due to have its application considered by the council’s taxi and private hire panel today (Wednesday).)

As well as the licence to operate, the firm is hoping for an exemption of certain conditions in relation to its use of private hire vehicles.

The local authority has asked for more guarantees that bookings in the town would be ring-fenced, so that only licensed Luton drivers can accept them.

The borough council currently licences 35 taxi operators, 170 hackney carriages and 945 private hire vehicles, according to a report to the panel.

It says there are about 115 hackney carriage drivers, 879 private hire drivers and 365 dual drivers licensed by the local authority.

The dual drivers can drive both private hire and hackney carriage vehicles.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:21 pm 
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The local authority has asked for more guarantees that bookings in the town would be ring-fenced, so that only licensed Luton drivers can accept them.


Legal under the Deregulation Act?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:46 pm 
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"The borough Council currently licenses 35 taxi operators"

Somebody at this Council requires training as a matter of fact I think they all do.
There is NO such thing as a taxi operators license.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:18 pm 
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heathcote wrote:
"The borough Council currently licenses 35 taxi operators"

Somebody at this Council requires training as a matter of fact I think they all do.
There is NO such thing as a taxi operators license.

Probably the reporter and not the council.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:10 pm 
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The local authority has asked for more guarantees that bookings in the town would be ring-fenced, so that only licensed Luton drivers can accept them.

Wish them well with that bugger.

What Ola might do is fudge it as currently they don't have a London PH ops license, so can guarantee they wont at present.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:46 pm 
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Not much to see here, although a bit ambiguous about the cross-border thing - says will only use Luton-licensed drivers for trips within Luton, but not sure if this is an LA-imposed requirement (which wouldn't be legal, presumably) rather than something done voluntarily by Ola.

Ola to new taxi firm for Luton

https://www.lutontoday.co.uk/news/busin ... -1-8830357

Taxi firm Ola has been given permission to expand its service, based on mobile phone technology, into Luton.

The company, a rival to Uber, was granted a private hire operator’s licence by the borough council’s licensing sub-committee.

Ola UK Private Limited intends to operate an App-based booking platform for taxi services with local private hire vehicles and hackney carriage vehicles.

The firm will have an office at Capability Green, having started its UK operations in South Wales, Bristol and Exeter.

One of the taxi company’s representatives Darryl Supersad told the sub-committee the firm is planning to extend its operation to every city in the UK.

It will use local private hire drivers and vehicles, similar to Uber, and also include black cabs across the whole market, he said. Ola would be using standard taxis for the moment, but plans to use electric vehicles in the future to provide taxi services.

The company plans to provide executive services in six to eight months to and from London Luton Airport, the licensing sub-committee heard.

Drivers and vehicles used would all be licensed by the council, with the cabbies self-employed.

Bookings would be web-based only, and the website would provide phone numbers to deal with support and complaints.

Ola is looking at employing 100 to 500 drivers and vehicles initially, but hopes to increase to 2,000 in the long-term.

The firm has a complaint management system and would take any driver issues raised seriously, the sub-committee was told.

Passengers and taxi drivers have to register via the app, so payments are made digitally at the end of a trip, rather than direct to the driver.

All payments will be made by credit or debit cards only, with no cash changing hands.

Drivers would not be required to work exclusively for Ola, but records would be kept of all their activities for the company.

Bookings within the Luton would be given to local drivers, but cross border journeys, such as from Luton to Manchester Airport, may be offered to an Ola driver from outside the town where appropriate.

The sub-committee decided to grant the application for the operator’s licence, with exemptions to the current council policy over keeping records electronically instead of in a handwritten bound book.

It also requested that the application for licence renewal should be reviewed in full by a panel, instead of by the licensing service under delegated authority.

The borough council licences 35 taxi operators, 170 hackney carriages and 945 private hire vehicles.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:29 pm 
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Ola is looking at employing 100 to 500 drivers and vehicles initially, but hopes to increase to 2,000 in the long-term.

I very much doubt Ola are looking forward to employing any drivers.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:31 pm 
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Bookings within the Luton would be given to local drivers, but cross border journeys, such as from Luton to Manchester Airport, may be offered to an Ola driver from outside the town where appropriate.

Maybe they are preempting the proposed new cross border rules.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:37 pm 
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Not sure if the local-only thing was ever addressed.

And not really clear why Ola need to reapply for a new licence just because of a change of director - is that normal if it's just routine?

Apart from that not a lot to see here unless you want to read yet another piece about how yet another app-based service works.


Taxi booking app Ola reapplies for licence to operate in Luton after changing director

https://www.lutontoday.co.uk/news/polit ... or-1380173

A taxi company is having to reapply for its licence to operate in Luton - based on mobile phone technology - because of a change of director.

Ola Cabs was given permission to expand its service into the town nearly a year ago.

The company, a rival to Uber, was granted a private hire operator’s licence by the borough council’s licensing sub-committee in February 2019.

Ola UK Private Limited has been operating an App-based booking platform for taxi services with local private hire vehicles and hackney carriage vehicles.

But having appointed a new director, Karl Lutzow, the firm is due to have its licence reconsidered by the council's taxi and private hire licensing panel tomorrow (Friday).

Ola currently has an office at Capability Green, having started its UK operations in South Wales, Bristol and Exeter.

One of the taxi company’s representatives Darryl Supersad said last year the firm is planning to extend its operation to every city in the UK.

It uses local private hire drivers and vehicles, similar to Uber, and also includes black cabs across the whole market.

The company was also planning to provide executive services to and from London Luton Airport, the licensing sub-committee heard last year.

Drivers and vehicles used are licensed by the council, with the cabbies self-employed.

Bookings are web-based only, and the website provides phone numbers to deal with support and complaints.

Ola was proposing to employ 100 to 500 drivers and vehicles initially, and hoping to increase to 2,000 in the long-term.

Passengers and taxi drivers have to register via the app, so payments are made digitally at the end of a trip, rather than direct to the driver.

Drivers would not be required to work exclusively for Ola, but records would be kept of all their activities for the company.

The sub-committee decided in February to grant the application for the operator’s licence, with exemptions to the current council policy over keeping records electronically instead of in a handwritten bound book.

It also requested that an application for licence renewal should be reviewed in full by a panel, instead of by the licensing service under delegated authority.

The fresh licensing hearing before the panel is scheduled for Friday (Jan 31st) morning.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:40 pm 
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Quote:
Drivers and vehicles used are licensed by the council, with the cabbies self-employed.

Bookings are web-based only, and the website provides phone numbers to deal with support and complaints.

Ola was proposing to employ 100 to 500 drivers and vehicles initially, and hoping to increase to 2,000 in the long-term.


Don't want to sound nit-picking on the use of the word 'employ' in a newspaper article (as opposed to an employment status court judgement, say), which can simply mean 'to use' someone or something.

But to say drivers are 'self-employed' in one paragraph, then saying Ola will 'employ' drivers a couple of sentences later is a bit of a clanger [-(


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:17 pm 
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And not really clear why Ola need to reapply for a new licence just because of a change of director - is that normal if it's just routine?

I suppose the old director was the named operator, and if he is no more then it's fair to say the ops license is no more. Hence the new license with the new name on.

What a sensible firm should do is have a number of directors on the ops license.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:16 pm 
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My thoughts entirely re the use of "self-employed drivers" and "looking to employ 500 drivers"..


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:44 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
And not really clear why Ola need to reapply for a new licence just because of a change of director - is that normal if it's just routine?

I suppose the old director was the named operator, and if he is no more then it's fair to say the ops license is no more. Hence the new license with the new name on.

What a sensible firm should do is have a number of directors on the ops license.



Who would be clean from convictions,uber has been found to be wanting in many prosecutions by pleading guilty,surely that means all directors will have to declare this when they put their name on an application for a operators license.
That should be sufficient reason for any Council to refuse a license.


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