Ola cabs has opened operations in Shimla, adding the hill station capital of Himachal Pradesh into its list of 100-odd operating cities. At present, only Mini and Sedan have been introduced, and searching via its app shows Shimla now within Ola’s reach. Introductory rates have been announced – Mini cabs begin at Rs. 12/km, and Sedan begins at Rs. 14/km.
With this launch, Ola is confident of spreading out on the hill roads, that has thus far been governed mostly by local cabs and on-contract cars that ply mostly with tourist groups, for a preset fee. With Ola hitting the road, tourists and locals alike would not need to pre-book cars to visit local sites of attraction. Additionally, people will have a car fare structure to hold as reference, thereby shifting the paradigm of car rentals in Shimla.
As part of the first batch of operations, Olacabs is offering its customers free rides up to Rs. 100, on first-customer basis. For future, Ola plans to increase its fleet of cars by about 1,000, over the next six months. Ola’s Business Head of North India, Deep Singh, stated to ANI, “We are thrilled to bring Ola to the city of Shimla, making available personal transportation at the tap of a button. Residents and tourists in the city can now enjoy access to reliable, efficient and convenient transportation options at all times. We look forward to becoming an integral part of Shimla's mobility ecosystem in the time to come. Ola's launch in Shimla will provide employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for driver-partners from within the city. Drivers in other cities have seen an increase of up to 40 percent in their earnings after they have registering with Ola.”
In order to attract more drivers under its umbrella, Ola has tied up with car manufacturers like Tata, Maruti and Nissan, to help new drivers buy their own cars from these companies, at discounts that go up to Rs. 1,00,000. Also within Ola’s initiatives are tie-ups with finance groups, to aid drivers in funding their own cars. These initiatives, Ola believes, should help prospective drivers look for a better future, and attract more drivers to Ola, particularly in cities like Shimla, where the service is just being started.