Startup

Cab Aggregator Ola Launches Bicycle-Sharing Service Ola Pedal

Ola Cabs was founded on 3 December 2010 by Bhavish Aggarwal currently CEO, and Ankit Bhati. ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd., operating under the trade name Ola, is an Indian online transportation network company. It was founded as an online cab aggregator in Mumbai but is now based in Bangalore. As of September 2015, Ola was valued at $5 billion.

As of 2017, the company has expanded to a network of more than 600,000 vehicles across 110 cities. In November 2014, Ola diversified to incorporate autos on trial basis in Bangalore.Post the trial phase, Ola Auto expanded to other cities like Delhi. Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata starting December 2014. In December 2015, Ola expanded its auto services in Mysore, Chandigarh,Indore, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Guwahati and Vishakhapatnam. Ola was valued at $US5 billion as of September 2015.

Ola Pedal

Ola Pedal is a dockless bicycle-sharing system available at IIT Kanpur and other large university campuses across India. The service launched in November 2017 with bikes which are unlocked by scanning a QR code on the Ola app
Cab-aggregator Ola has introduced a new mode of transportation for its users called Ola Pedal – a bicycle sharing service that will come in handy for short journeys allowing users to complete the final leg of their journey within the large college and office campuses.

Ola Pedal will enable users to book bicycles that will be made available at various docking stations nearby large campuses across the cities in India. Once booked, riders can unlock their corresponding bicycles (as per the codes shared on the app) with their fingerprints.

Having already launched at the IIT Kanpur campus on a pilot basis, where 600 Ola bicycles were made available at various docking stations surround the 1000-acre campus, Ola aims to launch similar services at other large campuses be it business parks, institutions or other public areas.

The Lean & Green Combo Climate change and global warming are biggest threats to humanity, concludes the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its 5th assessment report. Ola appears to have girded up its loins to infuse more eco-friendly rides in its kitty.

After Masayoshi Son had stated his vision to replace the existing cabs with electric or hybrid vehicles, the cab aggregator had partnered with Indian Oil to launch electric vehicle charging facility at Indian Oil retail outlets. While electric vehicle charging stations have been in existence in Bengaluru for the past four years, it was for the first time that electric vehicle charging platforms were installed at fuel stations, falling in line with the Government of India’s Fame-India scheme.

Ola has placed Ola Pedal as a lean and green solution to the traffic congestion and pollution and has also announced that these bicycles will be fully made in India, encashing the benefits of PM Modi’s Make In India policy.

While the other cab aggregator Uber India clearly lags in terms of localizing their service in Indian market, Ola is not the first and only platform for bicycle-sharing rides in India. Established in December 2014, bicycle-sharing startup Cykul is currently operating over 2000 bicycles in 3 cities Hyderabad, Gurugram and Jaipur. Cykul has monthly pass and smart card-based services and organises various events to promote cycling across the country. Another bike aggregator Trin Trin startup has been providing the bicycle-sharing services at 52 docking stations in Mysuru Karnataka.

Only time will tell how these bicycle-sharing platforms deal with people stealing the bicycles and not returning the same at docking stations. With Ola Pedal integrated with user’s Aadhaar, may be a welcome step in curbing this.





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