Ola has launched Ola Auto in Thane, making it the company’s 6th city in Maharashtra and 72nd city in the country to have the service. The service will cost Rs 12 per km after a base fare of Rs 18 for the first 1.5 kms and a convenience fee of Rs 15. After the ride, users will get a bill over SMS. Curiously, Ola’s press statement added that a union called Bharatiya Janata Riksha Chalak Malak Sanghatana supports Ola Auto in Thane.
In February, Ola slashed fares for Auto in Ahmedabad and Indore by 50% each after the company saw an increased demand and revenues for drivers in both the cities. Ola has 3,500 autos in Ahmedabad and 1,500 autos in Indore. It claims that since joining its platform, drivers see a reduction of 35% in their idle times and 22% of fuel costs.
As of now, the Ola Auto app is available in English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. It claims to have 120,000 registered autorickshaws and a total of 450,000 vehicles on its platform.
Ola Share expansion
Last month, the company expanded Ola Share (carpooling) to Chandigarh, Jaipur and Ahmedabad and is now present in 10 cities. It also reduced the fare of the service to Rs 3 per km. Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai are the top cities by transaction volume for Ola Share while Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai are cities with minimal on the way deviation percentage.
In July, Ola launched e-rickshaws in Lucknow after initially launching them in Delhi NCR. The company plans to add 300 e-rickshaws in the next 3 months. Ola e-rickshaws cost Rs 20 for the first km and Rs 8 per km after that.
Offline SMS booking
Earlier this week, Ola launched Ola Offline, a feature across all its cab categories where its users could book cabs without internet. On detecting that the smartphone did not have an internet connection, Ola would load a pre-fed text message to book a cab. It also launched 3 more features Ola Hotspots, Snap to historic Pickup and Share Directions which would let users find cabs more easily.
Last week, Ola integrated its app into Apple’s personal assistant Siri and Apple Maps on iOS devices, letting those users book directly from both these platforms. Right now, Ola users can get a cab through Google Maps, Practo and Via.com other than its standalone Android and iOS apps.