India’s leading ride-hailing service, Ola, is introducing bicycles to their fleet, which already includes cabs, auto-rickshaws, motorcycles, and buses. The introduction of bicycles is to target those moving about large college or office campuses.
Ola stated, “The service is currently being run as a pilot at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur, where it allows faculty, students, and others to rent bicycles from designated spots via the Ola app”. The best part is that Ola has already distributed more than 600 cycles on campus.
They plan to introduce their service to technology parks and other universities. “Bicycles are a sustainable and efficient alternative for covering first and last mile mobility needs in our cities,” Ola quoted.
On Friday, the company introduced Ola Pedal, a bicycle sharing service, and has plan to expand to many other cities where it runs its cab business. But to begin this service, Ola wants to emphasize its presence on college campuses, suburban areas, and tech parks.
“We are piloting Ola Pedal in various campuses, to begin with. With superior technology and availability to book on the same Ola app, which is used by millions of Indians on a daily basis, Ola Pedal will go a long way in solving larger issues like pollution and congestion in our cities, especially for short distance trips,” the company cited in one of the reports.
This new bicycle model is actually inspired from the success in Europe, China, and the U.S. with the bike companies such as OBike, Ofo and Mobike. These bike services give customers the ability to find the closest bike and leave it at a location of their choice after use. The success stories of Ofo and Mobike indicated that they have introduced about 13 million cycles worldwide and raised a total of $2.3 billion from investors such as Chinese internet giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., as per the reports.
The Ola Pedal service is free for the first half hour, but after that, handlers get charged Rs 5 per hour. Payments can only be accepted through the app, and there is no choice of cash payment.
The Ola company just secured about $2 billion in funding from a group of investors like SoftBank Group Corp. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.