In partnership with Bhartiya Micro Credit (BMC), Ola has launched its new service where the users will be able to book electric rickshaws from the app. Expanding its platform from cars to bikes to boats, Ola will now share its platform with 5,100 e-rickshaws.
As a part of Stand-up India initiative, the service was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an event in Noida on Tuesday. For now, the service is deployed across Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad and will soon be expanded to other cities.
"A total of 5,100 Ola e-rickshaws will be launched in partnership with Bhartiya Micro Credit (BMC) at the event and will be deployed across Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad. This will be further scaled up in the coming months to more small towns and Tier III cities," Ola Chief Operating Officer Pranay Jivrajka told media.
The company will charge a ten per cent commission from the rickshaw pedallers. However, no convenience fee will be charged from the users, just like with auto rickshaws. The users will have to pay Rs 25 per two km and Rs 8 per km after that for the following distance. The fare is subjected to differ from city to city.
"We will soon launch ride sharing options, which will bring down the cost," he said without disclosing a timeline.
Feeling honoured to be a part of Stand-up India, Pranay Jivrajka said the service aimed at empowering thousands of e-rickshaw driver-partners, with innovative micro-entrepreneurship solutions and technology platform. There are already five million rickshaw peddlers in the country and Ola backing them up will be great support for them. In crowded towns where short distance travel can become a stressful task, this service is bound to increase mobility.
"Citizens in these cities and towns currently suffer from lack of convenient and reliable mobility options, especially for short distances. E-rickshaws are an affordable and greener alternative in these cities that can serve mobility needs unique to these small towns and cities in India," he said.
Apart from providing with financial support to buy e-rickshaws, Ola and BMC will also set up and run skill development centres in these towns to enable continuous skilling and training for thousands of rickshaw driver-entrepreneurs.
With Freecharge on board with Ola as partner, users will be able to pay via chat with e-Rickshaw drivers as part of its chat-n-pay service.
"The drivers can register as a merchant at zero investment, on the Chat-n-Pay platform by simply adding their banking details. For consumers and drivers, Chat-n-Pay 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," said Govind Rajan, Chief Operating Officer, FreeCharge said.