Vizag: With Vizag now being declared as an “Orange Zone”, Ola, India’s leading mobility platform and one of the world’s largest ride-hailing companies, today announced that cab operations will resume in the city with a new safety initiative, ‘10 steps to a safer ride’. This move is in line with the company’s announcement to recommence services in Over 100 Indian cities which have been identified as Orange or green zones by the government.
Ola’s ‘10 steps to a safer ride’ initiative emphasizes the importance of both the customers and driver partners to contribute equally to ensure safety during all rides. 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. Furthermore, all cars will be cleaned and sanitized after each ride and a flexible cancellation policy has also been introduced through 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.
The company has mandated driver-partners and customers to follow 5 precautionary steps each, for driver-partners and customers, encouraging them to follow sanitary measures and practice personal hygiene etiquette at all times. The protocols have been divided as follows:
No travel of Ola cabs in red zones: Ola cabs will not operate to and from Government identified red zones
Selfie-authentication of drivers: All driver-partners are required to wear masks and will need to authenticate this before the start of every ride by sharing a selfie through the driver-partner app
Equipped with hygiene kits: Driver-partners will be provided with masks, sanitizers and disinfectants and can re-stock these at walk-centres across their respective cities
Cars to be cleaned regularly: Common surfaces like the handle, inner handle and seat to be cleaned before every ride.
Flexible cancellations: As a strong measure, driver-partners and customers have been given the option of cancelling the ride if the other is not wearing a mask to ensure not only their safety but also that of those availing the service after
Wearing of masks is compulsory: All customers need to wear masks and should sanitize before and after every ride
AC to be switched off: To avoid re-circulation of air, the AC will be switched off and windows will be kept open
2 passengers per car: Only two passengers apart from the driver-partner will be allowed in the cab per ride
Load and unload luggage themselves: To help maintain social distancing, customers are urged to load and unload luggage themselves
Cashless payments: Customers are encouraged to go cashless to avoid unnecessary contact
Anand Subramanian, Spokesperson and Head of Communications, Ola said, “With majority of citizens across Vizag relying on us to commute, we are thankful to the Government for allowing us to serve them through these difficult times. As we open our platform to hundreds of thousands of customers and driver-partners whose livelihoods depend on our services, their safety continues to be our top priority. We believe that in our fight against COVID-19, we will need the support of all our stakeholders to ensure that they get a high-quality and sanitized in-cab experience.”
He further added, “‘10 steps to a safer ride’ is a call to action for customers, driver-partners to adopt 10 best hygiene practices together for minimizing the risks of the virus on themselves and the communities. In our effort to further flatten the curve, we are confident that adopting a united front by undertaking the necessary preventive steps will lead to better outcomes.”
Complying with the Central Government’s regulations, Ola cabs will only operate in permissible orange and green zones while adhering to the safety norms stipulated by the Ministry of Health. Ola will resume operations in a planned and phased manner across Tier 1, 2 and 3 cities.