Kolkata’s legendary ‘Yellow Cabs’ can apparently be now booked via Ola too. India’s largest cab-hailing company and Uber’s fiercest rival in the subcontinent announced this via an official release, in a bid to bring Kolkata’s rather lost, yet iconic yello taxis back on roads.
Famous for their vibrant color, which can easily be picked out even at a distance, Yellow Cabs have since long been Kolkata’s pride and joy, defining the face of transport in the city — along with the hand drawn carts, of course.
And now, over 1000 of these cabs have registered themselves with Ola, largely due to an eased out process of booking, taking the total count of vehicles associated with Ola across the city up to 5000.
Speaking on the topic, Nitesh Prakash, Director, Operations at Ola said,
We take pride in being able to have the iconic Taxis of Kolkata on the Ola platform, taking mobility to an all new level in the city. Taxis have been the lifeline of Kolkata’s transportation and Ola’s technology can go a long way in connecting the driver partners and citizens to make transportation efficient and effortless for all.
Branding Taxi drivers in Kolkata as entrepreneurs, he also emphasized on how this move from Ola promises to be mutually beneficial to both drivers and consumers.
Taxi drivers in Kolkata are in the true sense of the word, entrepreneurs themselves and have been serving the citizens since decades. Now with technology under their wings, they can gain access to consistent demand and increased revenue through the Ola app. Customers on the other hand will be able to hail a taxi without having to step out, with one touch from their app. We are excited about this offering for drivers and customers and are confident that this will continue to be a win-win for them and the city at large.
The company is not going to stop here and is looking to continue with its expansion drive. Coming months may see it incorporate over 5000 vehicles in the city. The move is part of Ola’s rapid expansion drive which has seen it partner with over 250,000 vehicles in 100+ cities.
True to tradition, Ola has kept the booking process as simple as possible. From August 28th, the Ola app will feature a brand new clickable ‘Taxi’ icon. Customers looking for a ride can click on it to locate taxis in their vicinity. Once they enter the pick-up and drop locations, drivers in the area would be alerted through their smartphones, from where they can choose to accept the fare. Ola will be charging a convenience fee of Rs. 10 in addition to the net fare, which will be decided based on Government approved meter rates.
The service provides a whole bevy of benefits to the customers as well as the drivers. While those looking to hail taxis will get the advantage of drivers that are not only trained by Ola in behaviour, etiquette and technology usage but are also licensed and verified by the local authorities.
Also, as a part of its attempt to rev up security, users can share details of their ride in form of an SMS with anyone they want. The SMS will contain a link, that can be clicked to access all the driver detail — including driver name, taxi number and driver’s contact details — along with the option to view the position of the cab in real-time.
Customers also have the option of pre-deciding a contact in the app, that can include any friend or family member, by entering his/her name, contact number and email id on the app. Once they set this system up, every time they go on a journey, they can choose to either allow the app to automatically send all the ride details to that particular person. Users can also choose to send details at any point in the journey, by pressing SOS button provided in-app. The details will include everything, including the customer’s CRN, location where the SOS alert was raised, cab and driver details along with real-time GPS coordinates providing for a very secure riding experience.
Drivers will also have access to several benefits, most significantly in increased revenues which, according to Ola may add up to a 40% increase in the current scale of operations. They will also have the option to log in or out of the Ola system at anytime of their choosing.
Well, first its acquisition of rival brand TaxiForSure, India’s second largest cab aggregator, it’s partnership with Bombay’s famous Kali-Peeli Taxis, and now this ! Ola, formerly Olacabs, certainly seems hell bent on becoming the face of rented transportation in India.
FEATURED IMAGE : WIKIMEDIA // PIYAL KUNDU // CC BY-SA 3.0 // IMAGE HAS BEEN CROPPED