Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the new e-rickshaw service in Delhi- NCR region, the latest category introduced by Ola. It is a part of PM’s ‘Stand-Up India’ initiative that which aimed at promoting entrepreneurship among women and SC & ST communities.
Speaking on the occasion, Modi said, “I hope that e-rickshaw owners and Dalit families who will get Stand up India loans will take advantage of the opportunity. E-rickshaws will benefit the environment. We spend billions on importing oil; now the Sun will run these rickshaws. E-rickshaws will be given to those who do not own rickshaws. The beneficiaries of this will be the poor.”
In partnership with Bhartiya Micro Credit (BMC) at the event, a total of 5,100 Ola e-rickshaws were launched and deployed across Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad.
Ola Chief Operating Officer Pranay Jivrajka, told media, “This will be further scaled up in the coming months to more small towns and Tier III cities.”
The fare will differ from city to city. Users will have to pay Rs 25 for 2km and Rs 8 per km after that. Payment can be done by cash or using Ola Money, which is the company’s wallet service.
Though the time is yet undecided, Jivrajka stated that the company will soon be launching ride sharing options to bring down the cost. He added, “With over 60% of the India’s population residing in small towns, Ola aims to strengthen mobility in these towns with the e-rickshaw initiative.”
To continue skilling and training the thousands of rickshaw driver-entrepreneurs, Ola and BMC will also set up and run skill development centres in these towns.
Digital payments company FreeCharge has also come on board as a partner to enable customers to connect and pay via chat with e-Rickshaw drivers as part of its chat-n-pay service.
Govind Rajan, Chief Operating Officer, FreeCharge said, “The drivers can register as a merchant at zero investment, on the Chat-n-Pay platform by simply adding their banking details.”