Ride-sharing on the Ola app will not be allowed at night (between 11 PM to 6 AM) in Chennai and Bengaluru as the cab aggregator has decided to do away with the feature to “optimise” its services keeping in view the earnings of its driver partners.
This is a sort of setback to thousands of commuters in both cities who use the service for regular commute – home to office or vice-versa. Sharing feature also optimises fares for customers and capacities for driver partners, enabling fewer vehicles on the road.
Ola first turned off the feature in Chennai two weeks ago and the measure was applied in Bengaluru at the beginning of the week, much to the disappointment of scores of commuters who work till late night in the metros and avail of cheap fares by opting for shared rides which are to 30 to 60 per cent lower than the normal fares.
“We have matched the availability of Ola Share to this time period to ensure value for money and viability for customers and partners respectively,” said an Ola spokesperson while confirming the report to Entrackr.
He added that customers can continue a variety of mobility options from 11 PM – 6 AM on the Ola platform. The decision has possibly been arrived at by taking unit economics in question by the company, although quite often safety concerns have been raised regarding ride-sharing at night.
As of now, there is no clarity on whether the measure applied in other metropolitan cities like Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata. However, unknown sources quoted in a Deccan Heral report said that it will happen in other cities eventually.
While driver partners alleged that its a tactic to ensure drivers do not complete the minimum number of trips for availing the incentive, some sources say it was due to the security of the passengers.
Ola spokesperson, however, denied there were any security concerns.
The ride-sharing feature on Ola and Uber platforms has been hailed for its role in reducing congestion by carrying more people in fewer vehicles. It also helps in control mounting pollution level.
Ola had seen a high uptake for the category on both the customer as well as the driver partner side ever since the facility was introduced. Cities such as Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata are the biggest users of Ola Share.