Location-based cab services Ola and Uber have become an essential part of our lifestyles. The concept of booking a cab based on your location particularly appealed to the millennials of the society but later caught up with the rest of the junta too. When the lockdown was issued and the government ordered us to stay inside our homes to contain the spread of Covid-19, several essential services came to a standstill including mobility giants Ola and Uber as well. They suspended operations on 24th March, complying with the guidelines issued by the authorities but as we have entered the third phase of the lockdown, the Government has revised certain rules and several restrictions are lifted, allowing cab services to resume cities belonging to Green and Orange zones.
Following the same announcement, Ola and Uber have resumed their services in areas within the Green and Orange zones. Wearing masks has become a new normal and these cab services have also included this in their criteria so as to ensure the safety of riders and driver-partners. Green and Orange zones have been classified as areas that have reported no confirmed cases or have very few cases. Ola said that they have resumed operations in over 100 cities across the country, adhering to the government guidelines. “As a protocol, all rides will be driven only across the identified safe zones and to ensure every driver-partner adheres to the safety rules, a mandatory selfie authentication mechanism has been put into place before and after every ride…all cars will be cleaned and sanitised after each ride,” Ola said.
How Different Will Cab Rides Be?
Ola recently introduced Ola Emergency service which enables the public to carry non-Covid-19 people to and from hospitals and announced that they will continue with this service. The ongoing health crisis requires everyone to follow a particular protocol in order to curb down the spread. Cabs are a vital part of one’s personal space and are exposed to various health threats because of a high number of touchpoints. In order to avoid any health threat, Ola has added a flexible cancellation policy has been introduced under which both the customer and driver-partner can cancel the ride if they feel the other party is not following the rules or not wearing a mask. Not only this, while earlier it was allowed for cabs to carry as much as 4 passengers in the case of a sedan or a hatchback, now, only 2 passengers are allowed per ride. The AC will be switched off and windows will be kept open during all rides to avoid re-circulation of air.
Now that Ola has resumed operations, how could its arch-rival Uber feel left behind? Uber too has announced that it has started operating in 25 cities including Jamshedpur, Kochi, Cuttack and Guwahati (Green Zone) as well as locations like Amritsar, Rohtak, Gurgaon and Visakhapatnam (Orange Zone). “Our services remain suspended in all cities which fall under the Red zone. However, we’ll continue to serve our communities in this zone with Uber Essential and UberMedic,” it said. Uber Essential is available in Bengaluru, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Indore, Mumbai, Nashik, and Ludhiana.