Ola, the home-grown taxi hailing application service, on Tuesday added e-rickshaws on its mobile app to fuel demand from smaller towns and cities.
The day also saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging off its 5,100 e-rickshaws at a function in Noida. The company said that it will set up training centres to train cycle rickshaw pullers to run e-rickshaws in participation with the government and thus help in the digital revolution.
Anand Subramanian, senior director of marketing communication at Ola said that about 65% of the country’s population resides in small towns and the launch of e-rickshaw will help them address the same opportunity in the market. E-rickshaws will service the short distance mobility needs of Tier II and Tier III markets. In September 2015, Ola had achieved over 1 million booking requests daily.
The launch of e-richskaws under PM’s Stand-Up India initiative is focussed on promoting entrepreneurship and the rickshaws will be deployed across Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad, and Ghaziabad in collaboration with the NGO Bhartiya Micro Credit (BMC), which aids financial needs of e-rickshaw drivers. The e-rickshaws will be given to SC/ST and women entrepreneurs, Modi said in his address.
Ola will make the service available to existing cycle rickshaw pullers and run skill development centre with BMC to train these rickshaw pullers on using the Ola app.
Ola will be earning 10% commission on e-rickshaw rides booked through its mobile app.
To foster digital payments for e-rickshaw, FreeCharge has partnered with BMC, which will help the customer to pay for the ride digitally.