New rideshare service Ola launches in Sydney
Uber's competition is heating up as Ola launches in Sydney this morning.
Three months ago, Uber's rideshare rival Taxify landed in Sydney, promising more competitive fares and better returns for its drivers.
Now Ola, a new rival, has arrived seeking to cash in on the Sydney market.
Bred out of India, the rideshare app officially launched in Australia in late January, taking to the streets of Perth and bringing with it a similar promise of affordable rides and cheaper fares during "lean hours".
To give Sydneysiders an idea of what that means, according to the app there are two types of vehicles available: Prime Sedan and Prime SUV. The sedan is the more affordable option with a base fare of $2.50, distance charge of $1.45 per kilometre and ride time charge fees of $0.40 per minute with the first 2 minutes being free of time charges. There is a minimum fare of $9.
Compared to Uber's most economic ride uberX, these charges are like-for-like, excluding the 2 minute free ride time charge, which really only saves you $0.80. This is also the same for Taxify's most economic ride option.
Ola's Prime SUV option has a $4 base charge as well as $2.30 per kilometre distance charges and $0.60 per minute ride time charges. Again, the first 2 ride time minutes are free. The minimum fare for this vehicle is $12. Compared to Uber's options in Sydney, this mirrors the rideshare's uberXL service.
As part of its launch, Ola is offering free $25 rides for first-time users. This is for a limited time only and requires you to download the app to redeem.
On top of the standard features, which include an interactive map to determine how far away your driver is as well as reviews and ratings, you can also let your friends and family know where you are in an Ola cab for extra safety and peace of mind.
Following its launch in Sydney, Ola has plans to expand its service to Melbourne in the near future.