In a bid to provide last mile connectivity to its commuters, transportation aggregator app Ola has introduced the booking of e-rickshaws on its platform.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will launch the Bhartiya Micro Credit (BMC) programme under the ‘Stand-Up India’ initiative in Noida, will launch the service by booking the first e-rickshaw on the Ola app, later this evening.
Currently, Ola will run a total of 5,100 e-rickshaws in partnership with BMC. These e-rickshaws will be deployed across Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad, and Ghaziabad. Out of these, nearly 151 rickshaws will be given to women drivers.
Ola aims to cater over 60% of the Indian population that resides in small towns across the country. The citizens in these cities currently suffer lack of convenient and reliable mobility options, especially for short distances. With e-rickshaws, the company will provide affordable and greener alternative to serve mobility needs. Ola plans to further scale the initiative to more small towns and tier 3 cities, across the country, in next few months.
Pranay Jivrajka, COO at Ola said,
It’s an honour to support ‘Stand-up India’ initiative with innovative micro-entrepreneurship solutions and technology platform. Economic growth, rapid urbanisation and environmental concerns are driving the need for innovative mobility solutions across the country. We believe this will touch the lives of hundreds of millions of citizens as well as the livelihoods of millions of driver entrepreneurs, taking us closer to our mission of mobility for a billion people.
Ola and BMC will also set up and run skill development centers in towns where e-rickshaws are being deployed, to enable continuous skilling and training for thousands of rickshaw driver-entrepreneurs.
Ola will charge 10% of the total rides as a fee from the e-rickshaw drivers, for providing them a platform to connect with users. However, the users will not be charged any convenience fee for e-rickshaws as in the case of an Ola Auto.
The charges for the e-rickshaw will be INR 25 for 2 Kms and then INR 8/km. However, these prices may differ in other cities. Currently, Ola e-rickshaw will not be available in ‘sharing’ as opposed to the usual e-rickshaws plying in the city.
Users can pay for the e-rickshaw using Ola Money. Like other offerings on its app, users will have the option to rate their rides as well.
Ola’s range of mobility offerings has expanded across different price points in over last few months. The company provides Ola Micro, Ola Mini, and premium Wifi enabled Ola Prime as transportation alternatives. It has also introduced Ola Share and Ola Shuttle in order to serve the mobility needs of millions of users every day.
Encashing over the opportunity, digital payments platform FreeCharge has announced its partnership with Bhartiya Micro Credit (BMC) to enable digital payments for e-rickshaw drivers via its Chat-n-Pay service. FreeCharge’s Chat-n-Pay service enables customers to connect and pay via chat with e-rickshaw drivers in less than 5 seconds. The drivers can register themselves as a merchant at zero investment on the Chat-n-Pay platform by adding their bank details. This will help eliminate the hassle of managing and arranging change and will further offer convenience to pay on-the-go in a seamless and secure manner for both consumers and drivers.
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