Under fire, Ola incentivises CNG cabs for diesel vehicle drivers

  • Faizan Haidar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 17, 2015 13:45 IST

Following a crackdown by the Delhi traffic police on diesel taxis plying in the Capital, appbased taxi hailing company Ola has decided to add a fleet of CNG vehicles under its service. The taxi hailing company is now offering incentives to its partner-drivers for exchanging their old diesel-run cars with CNG vehicles.

The traffic police in the Capital has comedown heavily on vehicles associated with app-based taxi network companies, especially after the Delhi High Court directed the government to ban such services.

“We are concerned about the livelihood of driver-entrepreneurs on our platform and are working out innovative solutions for them. We are leveraging our partnership with car manufacturers and dealers to enable exchange options for diesel cars to CNG. We will announce more initiatives in the weeks ahead for driver-partners,” a company spokesperson said.

“We will also add about 3,000 CNG vehicles the coming weeks to ensure that customers have a cab available with a five minute ETA (Expected Time of Arrival),” the spokesperson added.

Ola’s application for licence is currently pending with the transport department of the Delhi government. Meanwhile, the company has begun sending out messages to its driver-partners informing them about the exchange offer and will come out with a more comprehensive plan in coming week.

Uber officials have, however, said that a blanket ban of commercial cars plying on diesel fuel within the city may not be an effective solution; especially, when there are thousands of families that depend on the business supported by these vehicles.

According to rule, taxi companies, apart from running all the cabs on CNG, also have to maintain a call centre and have an initial fleet of 50 taxis, either owned or through an agreement with individual taxi permit holders, and eventually increase it to 200. Ola has a call centre unlike Uber. Government has said that it will not relax the norms for the companies.

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