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Uber, Ola resume operations with strict social distancing norms


Ride-hailing majors Uber and Ola resumed operations in many cities after the government allowed cab-hailing apps and taxis to operate from May 4 in green and orange zones. 

Uber and Ola’s services have resumed more than one month after the government imposed a nationwide lockdown on 24 March and then extended it thrice and now till May 17. 

Ola began operating across 100 cities and Uber in 31 with additional safety and cautionary changes for rides to help maintain social distancing. Both platforms have also announced their protocol for riders and drivers during a ride. 

While Uber has provided a list of instructions to be followed by both riders and driver-partners, Ola has also launched its ‘10 Steps to a Safer Ride’ campaign which encourages its customers and driver-partners to adopt 10 best hygiene practices. 

Uber and Ola have made it mandatory for their driver executives to wear masks. Ola has asked its partners to authenticate the same before the start of every ride by sharing a selfie through their partner app. 

For riders, the platforms have advised cashless payments which will ensure minimum contact. Flexible cancellation policy has also been introduced by both companies under which the customer or driver-partner can cancel the ride if they feel the other party is not following the rules or not wearing a mask. 

Ola has further requested its riders to load and unload their luggage themselves to help maintain social distancing and said that it will provide its driver-partners with masks, sanitizers, and disinfectants.

Uber will, however, operate rides to hospitals and pharmacies for users via its ‘UberMedic’ service in cities including red zones such as Delhi. Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, and Pune.

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