Ola to add 50,000 autos, expand to 10 cities

Transportation platform Ola today said it aims to add 50,000 autos over the next few quarters as it expands its operations to 10 more cities.

The Bengaluru-based firm, which allows users to book autorickshaw rides through its app in 12 cities, already has about 80,000 autos on its platform.

“Autos are one of the most ubiquitous modes of transportation in the country. We launched the auto category about a year and a half back and have seen a wonderful response to the service. We already have 80,000 autos on board and we are aggressively expanding the base,” Ola Senior Director Operations Nitesh Prakash told PTI.

He added that Ola aims to add about 50,000 autos on its platform as the company expands the category to 10 new cities.

“While I can’t disclose the names of the cities, I can tell you that these will mostly be tier II cities,” he said.

The SoftBank-backed firm offers Auto service in 12 cities

Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Indore, Jaipur, Gurgaon, Noida and Mysore.
Ola competes with local players like Jugnoo (north India) and AutoWale (Pune) in the category.

It also allows users in Mumbai to book Kaali-Peeli taxi rides through its mobile app.

“There is a huge potential in the category, especially when you go towards the tier II cities. There is enough demand but the drivers do not have visibility in terms of where the passengers are. We are connecting them and drivers have seen 40 per cent more bookings when they are on our platform,” Prakash said.

He added the company will also help driver partners get financing for buying autos and invest in training them.

Autorickshaws are a popular mode of transportation in India. Last year, Ola’s rival Uber had launched ‘UberAUTO’ but has now suspended the service.