India: Cab hailing platform Ola to resume operations in 100 cities

Mahindra's e2oPlus, operated by Indian ride-hailing company Ola, is seen at an electric vehicle charging station in Nagpur, India January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Aditi Shah/Files

Cab hailing platform Ola said it will resume operations in around 100 cities in the country with safety precautions, including compulsory masks for riders and non-air conditioned rides.

It has put Ola Share rides on hold but will continue to provide Ola Auto and Ola two-wheeler taxis in cities where it has resumed operations. As a protocol, all Ola rides can originate and end in green and orange zones only within a city.

Only two passengers will be allowed in a single Ola cab and they can only use the passenger seats by the window or at the rear of the car.

For drivers, a mandatory self authentication mechanism has been put into place before and after every ride. In addition, Ola claims that all cars will be cleaned and sanitized after each ride and also introduced a new ride cancellation policy where either the drive or rider could cancel rides is they feel unsafe during the ride.

The ride-hailing firm said that drivers will be provided with masks, sanitizers, and disinfectants and can avail these at all walk-in centers across their cities. Besides, Ola has instructed drivers to clean surfaces like car handle, inner handle, and seat to be cleaned before every ride.

Ola decided to start its rides in many cities with new social distancing norms after the Centre allowed taxis and cab aggregators to function from 4 May in some districts.

The Centre said districts will be split into three zones–red, orange, and green–depending on the spread of covid-19 in each district. Red and yellow zones will be treated as strict containment zones with very few relaxations on economic and commercial activities.

Green zones–districts with no confirmed cased of covid-19 in the last 21 days–will have more relaxations, including permission to ply public transport buses at 50% capacity.

“As we reopen our platform to millions of citizens for their commute and driver-partners whose livelihoods are dependent on serving mobility needs, safety of both continues to be the topmost priority for us,” said Anand Subramanian, spokesperson, and Head of Communications, Ola.

“Our fight against COVID-19 is a collective effort, and will be possible only with both our driver-partners and customers doing their bit to ensure that everyone has access to safe and high-quality mobility,” it added.

This article was first published on livemint.com

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.