Ola, one of the world’s largest ride-hailing platforms, has announced the launch of its services in Reading and the surrounding areas, after local councils granted the technology and transport pioneer with both taxi and private hire licences. The platform went live to customers on April 1, with driver onboarding already underway.
The platform will transform the use of transport in Reading for locals. The local community and visitors travelling across the area benefit from greater travel choice, with quicker and easier access to taxis. Customers also enjoy competitive pricing, as well as 24-hour safety support with Ola’s in-app customer care and emergency service.
Ben Legg, Ola’s managing director, said: “We are incredibly excited to be launching in Reading and to become the first ride-hailing platform for local private hire drivers. We are looking forward to helping the diverse communities connect with the rich cultural, educational and leisure opportunities that the area offers.”
“We have come to town after local drivers got in touch asking for more employment opportunities in and around Berkshire. We are leading the way with driver benefits and we are the only platform to include black cab drivers in our dynamic fleet. We are determined to work together with a mix of drivers and the local authorities to help the community to grow and achieve safety and mobility goals.”
Ola is the only platform that can be used by black cabs and Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs), giving both drivers and passengers even more choice. As part of their pledge to empower drivers, Ola offers the highest driver rates, charging just 10% commission to black cabs and 15% to PHVs, compared with 25% charged by competitors.
Ola is committed to making black cab and PHV ride options equally as attractive to platform users by ensuring that they are competitively priced. Black cabs do not ‘peak’ meaning that they can be cheaper when PHVs are in high demand, providing drivers with greater inclusivity.
Ola’s industry leading rates also enable comparable rates for passengers too, and as an added benefit passengers in Reading will receive 50% off their first five rides (up to £5 per ride).
Following the successful UK launch of Ola in Cardiff in August 2018, the company arrived in Bristol in October, Bath and Exeter in November and Liverpool this March. Just last month, Ola also arrived in Liverpool and Birmingham, meaning Reading is Ola’s seventh UK launch in just seven months.
Founded in 2011, Ola is one of the world’s largest rideshare companies. The company conducts one billion rides a year around the world, with more than a million drivers and 150 million customers in over 125 cities. Ola is now operational in India, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Ola integrates city transportation for customers and driver-partners onto a mobile technology platform ensuring a convenient, transparent, and quick service. Ola is committed to leading the industry with its approach to passenger safety including Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) screened drivers and processes such as 24/7 voice support, options to share ride details with emergency contacts and in-app emergency features.