Home / News / India /  Ola resumes cab services in over 160 cities with safety protocols

Amid India entering the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown imposed in the country in order to combat the novel coroanvirus outbreak, ride hailing service Ola today announced that it has resumed normal ride operations in more than 160 cities with enhanced safety protocols.

Ola said that according to the guidelines released by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Sunday, driver-partners operating three and four-wheelers on the platform will be available with the "highest levels of safety precautions in Covid-19 sensitive states like Karnataka, Telangana, Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu (except Chennai), Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Assam."

These safety precautions include "compulsory mask usage for driver-partners and passengers, complete sanitization of cars post-trips, adhering to social distancing norms by limiting to two passengers per ride amongst other key steps through our '10 Steps to a Safer Ride' initiative," a company spokesperson said in a statement.

Consequently, the company pointed out that Ola vehicles will not operate to and from government identified red or containment zones.

It also mentioned, "All driver-partners are required to wear masks and need to authenticate this before the start of every ride by sharing a selfie through their partner app." The same applied to the passengers boarding the cab. "All customers boarding the cab need to wear masks and should sanitize before and after every ride," the cab service said in a statement.

Common surfaces like the handle, inner handle and seat to be cleaned before every ride, as per the instructions from the company.

Further, the company is also giving drivers and customers an option of cancelling the ride if anyone of them is seen not wearing the mask.

To avoid re-circulation of air, the AC will be switched off and windows will be kept open during all rides.

Only two passengers per ride will be allowed in the cab besides the driver. They will also be urged to sit by the windows on the rear of the car.

Meanwhile, Uber had announced starting operations in 34 cities including Jamshedpur, Kochi, Cuttack and Guwahati (green zone) as well as locations like Amritsar, Rohtak, Gurugram, Amritsar, Udaipur and Visakhapatnam (orange zone) in the third phase of the lockdown, according to media reports.

Both Uber and Ola had suspended operations after the government announced a nationwide lockdown from 25 March to contain the spread of COVID-19.

After 40 days of lockdown, some relaxations were provided in the third phase of the lockdown from May 4, including allowing cab services to operate with conditions in locations that have very few or no confirmed cases reported (orange and green zones).

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