Indian cab service Ola cabs recently went live in London. Starting Monday, Ola has been offering its cab services in the capital city of England as well. The platform is fully operational. Users in London can book an Ola in three categories for now – Comfort, Comfort XL, and Exec ride classes. The service started in Cardiff, Wales and has since been spreading across the UK. It will be competing with US-based Uber in the city.
“The company will maintain its differentiated focus on drivers, safety and a collaborative approach with local authorities and regulators,” Ola said in a statement.
Ola also announced three partnerships with firms such as DriveTech (Part of the AA), consulting giant Mercer and Pearson in initiatives to ensure that Ola riders in London benefit from the highest standard of driving skills, and driver customer service and communication.
According to the company, every Ola driver in London has passed the Versant spoken English test, from education experts Pearson, thus, ensuring a high level of communication in English. London drivers joining the platform will benefit from six weeks of zero commission and the company says it will offer market-leading commission rates thereafter, enabling them to keep more of their earnings.
Simon Smith, Head of Ola International said: “We are thrilled to now be live in London. This is a major milestone for our business and represents the next step in our ambitions to connect people in cities throughout the country. We are proud of the progress Ola has made in the UK and we look forward to building on our success by offering a differentiated service to Londoners, focused on quality, safety, and reliability.”
Ola had late last month announced it would officially launch in London on February 10, and appears to have stuck to the date. London is the latest in the company’s UK launches. Last year, it launched in Birmingham, Liverpool, and Reading, launching in seven UK cities in seven months.
Incidentally, this move by Ola comes after competitor Uber loses its license to continue services in London due to safety concerns. Uber and Ola have been in cut-throat competition in India and both the companies are backed by Softbank.
Transport of London granted Ola a one-year Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) License allowing it to operate in the city. This permit is valid till October 3rd this year which completes more than a year after the permit given to Ola in July 2019.
Ola is founded by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati in 2011 and has been a part of changing the mobility infrastructure of India.