With Restrictions Partially Eased, Ola Plans To Resume Services

The company will also continue its emergency service operations across 15 cities

Government has allowed commercial taxis to function in Orange and Green Zones

Ola, Uber have suspended their services since March 25

Homegrown cab-hailing service Ola is planning to resume services in Orange and Green Zones from May 4, a person close to the matter told Inc42.

This comes a day after the government decided to resume commercial taxis and cab aggregator services with one passenger in Orange and Green Zones.

Inc42 reached out to both cab aggregators, but have received no response.

Cab hailing services like Ola and Uber had halted their operation since March 24, the first day of lockdown. However, the companies joined efforts taken by the government in its fight against the pandemic. Uber launched its UberMedics to offer pick and drop services to healthcare providers and also started partnering with several grocery delivery companies to offer logistical support.

Meanwhile, Ola offered to donate 500 cabs to the Karnataka government to carry out public initiatives to tackle Covid-19 in Bengaluru. Last month, it also launched a CONNECTS (Comprehensive Navigation, Networking, Control, and Tracking Solution) initiative to support the state government’s efforts on the ground.

The company had highlighted that CONNECTS can be deployed as a turn-key solution or customised to specific requirements, to assist governments and various agencies in managing real-time war rooms for various operations at scale, with 100% data privacy and security.

Besides this, Ola had also launched an emergency service in 15 cities across the country for essential medical trips to and from hospitals in partnership with state governments. The company is expected to continue this service across the country, the person close to the matter told Inc42.

Govt Pushes For Internal Mobility

The development comes a day after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced the guidelines for the third phase of the lockdown, which has been extended by two more weeks till May 17. The Indian government is looking to open up the Indian economy in phases and in certain regions. For this, the government has bifurcated the country into three zones — red, orange and green — depending on the spread of Covid-19 in those regions.

Red Zones indicate hotspots like New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru among others, whereas Orange Zones indicate areas with fewer cases and Green Zones where there are no cases. While all sorts of non-essential operations will continue to be shut in Red Zone regions, the government has decided to roll out certain relaxations in a range of factors, including internal movement.

The government, in its recent order, has also allowed the movement of private vehicles with only two passengers — a driver and a passenger — in Orange Zones.  Besides this, the government has permitted all activities in Green Zones, except the ones prohibited nationally. It has also decided to public transports like buses to operate in Green Zones, but with a 50% seating capacity.

However, there is no clarification of whether two-wheeler shared mobility platforms like VOGO, Bounce, and Rapido will be allowed to function or not.

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Written by Kritti Bhalla


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