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Is Ola, Uber resuming services in your city?

By Surajeet Das Gupta
May 19, 2020 14:40 IST
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While Ola will be restarting services in over 60 cities across the country from Tuesday, Uber, on the other hand, will restart services in 13 more cities from Tuesday, increasing coverage to over 35 cities.

Cabs

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

Customers in Delhi, Bengaluru and other key cities have a reason to smile as cab aggregators - Uber and Ola - will resume their car and three-wheeler operations from Tuesday.

With further relaxation of lockdown regulations and more powers given to states, Ola will be restarting services in over 60 cities across the country from Tuesday.

 

These also include Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Mysuru, Mangaluru and Hubli-Dharwad among others.

The areas it will cover include Karnataka, Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu (except Chennai), Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Assam.

With this, Ola will now be available in over 160 cities across the country.

In a statement, after resumption of services in more cities, Ola said, “This will bring relief to millions of driver partners whose livelihoods depend on serving citizens on a daily basis.”

Ola also added it is taking all enhanced safety protocols, which include compulsory mask usage, social distancing and complete sanitisation of cars after trips, among other steps.

Uber, on the other hand, will restart services in 13 more cities from Tuesday, increasing coverage to over 35 cities.

The new cities that it will enter include Mysuru, Amritsar, Mohali, Faridabad, Jalandhar, Patiala apart from Delhi and Bengaluru.

Both the car aggregators had restarted operations a few weeks ago when they were permitted under the rules to operate from orange and green zones across the country.

As part of the new rules announced by several states, even red zones have been permitted to operate services.

The notable exception is Mumbai, where there has been no move to open up transportation by aggregators.

Expansion of operations is crucial as the transport aggregator business has faced a serious financial hit as a result of the lockdown, leading to no operations.

Uber has already announced that it will retrench over 3,700 full time employees globally.

This represents 14 per cent of its total workforce of 27,000.

It has also withdrawn job offers which it has made in many management schools in India.

However, it is not clear as to what the impact of the job losses will be on its Indian operations.

The US-based company has been trying to rejig its strategy by introducing new products, which include tie ups with e- commerce firms for last mile delivery, and a transportation service for health care providers in hospitals, among others.

It is also test marketing a product in which a plastic divider separates the driver from the user to increase safety (in cars for Urban Medics), which may be slowly extended to a larger fleet.

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Surajeet Das Gupta in New Delhi
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