back to article Hasta la vista, Ola: TfL bans ridesharing startup, claiming unlicensed drivers picked up passengers

Transport for London (TfL) has refused to renew the licence of the Indian ridesharing startup Ola, after the discovery of what it described as "potential public safety consequences". The authority identified several issues in Ola’s operations, including what TfL claimed was the use of unlicensed drivers and cars in over 1,000 …

  1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Uber Employees

    Uber, for example, handed out nearly 6,700 pink slips worldwide in the month of May alone

    If the drivers aren't Uber employees, who are these thousands of people that Uber employs?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Uber Employees

      I don't know, and I'm sure they look very fetching in their new petticoats, but how does cladding them in lingerie enhance passenger safety?

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Uber Employees

        I used to wear a fruedian slip but it was a bit seethrough.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Uber Employees

          One of my favourite Jokes from Frasier is "What is a Freudian slip? It's where you say one thing and really mean a mother."

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: Uber Employees

      Marketing, HR, IT, etc. Uber doesn't employ its drivers but it did employ a lot of office staff.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Uber Employees

        Plus a bunch of developers. And all the people involved in their self-crashingdriving car program. The one they put out on the road for testing with no emergency braking system. Not that it mattered, the software was so shit that it didn't stop for stuff it couldn't identify - so it ploughed straight into that cyclist without even triggering the alarm buzzer that they'd replaced the computer's control of the brakes with.

  2. DavCrav Silver badge

    "...the app has features like “start codes” that allow passengers to ensure they’re in the right vehicle. You could reasonably question how useful those codes are, if TfL's reckoning is correct that some vehicles in their fleet didn’t even have a proper licence."

    Bro 1: "Hey guys! I've come up with this great idea, I call it a start code! You could assign everyone a unique code, so that people can know that they have the right vehicle."

    Bro 2: "I have an even better idea! So that you don't have to go up to the car to find out, why not display the start code on the exterior of the car, so you can see it from a distance?"

    1. Craig 2

      Because number plates are 100% reliable and cloned plates aren't a huge problem with criminals....

      I'm assuming the start code would work as a one time token the driver tells you before you get in? It could be anything, but something like a famous spy movie quote could add an air of mystery to every journey :)

      1. J27 Silver badge

        I don't recall hearing about a lot of problems with people showing up in cars that have a clone of the plate for the rideshare you called for. Uber normally shows up in less than 5 minutes (in every major city I've visited, if you live in a rural area I'm sure it takes longer). Intercepting that would be pretty difficult.

      2. DavCrav Silver badge

        "Because number plates are 100% reliable and cloned plates aren't a huge problem with criminals...."

        How would that work? You use a cloned plate on the app? Since the app tells you the start code, it's exactly the same.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The start code should not be visible to either the driver or the customer until both parties are within yards of on another. This will help to combat fraud

      3. Essuu

        Parallel delivery

        Pub/club kicks out, several vehicles turn up, drunk folk fall in, it's only later they realise they're in the wrong vehicle. See it happen a lot, driver asks if you're $accountholder, "yeah mate" and jump in.

        I suspect the token is supposed to work the other way around, the passenger gives the driver the code, so the latter knows he has the right dribbling mess on board.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Parallel delivery

          "I suspect the token is supposed to work the other way around, the passenger gives the driver the code, so the latter knows he has the right dribbling mess on board."

          Nope, I checked and it's a four-digit code the passenger sets and the driver gives over. So absolutely no greater protection than the number plate.

    2. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

      Singapore Taxis

      They arrive at the pickup displaying the telephone number used to make the booking. I just assumed it was a convenient way to identify "your" taxi. I suppose there is some security utility depending on the back end and when the number is first displayed?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would never happen with taxis or min-cabs. They're always licensed. Yup.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      But does this Indian company offer the same introduction to British life that only a black-cabby can provide ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        introduction to British life that only a black-cabby can provide

        Do you mean the high prices in London?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: introduction to British life that only a black-cabby can provide

          I thought many black-cabbies (as opposed to 'black' cabbies) were in favour of free trips home for Indians ?

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