Today, Ola announced the launch of the e-rickshaw category on the platform that will let users in Delhi-NCR region book rides on the vehicle. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched this service as a part of the initiative called Stand-Up India that is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship.
At the event, Ola and Bhartiya Micro Credit (BMC) launched 5,100 e-rickshaws in partnership and these will be deployed across Gurgaon, Delhi, Faridabad, Noida, and Ghaziabad. The same will be scaled up in the next few months extending to small cities and towns, claimed Pranay Jivrajka, the Chief Operating Officer at Ola.
The rickshaw pedallers will be charged a commission of 10 percent by Ola. However, the convenience fees will not be charged from the users unlike the case of the auto-rickshaws. The fare will differ from one city to another and the riders will have to pay Rs 25 for a couple of kms and Rs 8 per km after that. The company also accepts payments from Ola Money, its wallet service.
He added that the company will soon launch the ride sharing options that will bring the cost further down, but a specific timeline for the same remains unknown. As per the estimates, there are around five million rickshaw pedallers in India. With almost 60 percent of the country’s population residing in the small cities and towns, the company aims to strengthen the mobility in such places with this initiative.
The citizens in the small towns and cities suffer from lack of reliable and convenient mobility options, especially to commute short distances. The e-rickshaws are a greener and affordable alternative to the ones in the cities, he added.
Both Ola and BMC have established skill development centers in the small towns and cities to enable continuous training and skilling for the rickshaw driver entrepreneurs. The platform has around 3.5 lakh cabs and 80,000 auto-rickshaws on its platform.