Facing severe criticism from Delhi government, taxi aggregator Ola today said it will offer free rides for its ‘Shuttle’ bus service on April 22 and 29, under the second phase of odd-even scheme.
This comes days after the company temporarily suspended surge pricing after the state government threatened to cancel permits for charging higher than prescribed fares.
“While tens of thousands of people are using Ola Shuttle on a daily basis, we would like to extend this service free of cost on select days for citizens, in our support of vehicle rationing scheme and contribute to the shared vision of a greener and cleaner Delhi,” Ola Vice President New Initiatives Sundeep Sahni said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that diesel cars, drivers without licenses or badges and blackmailing by taxi aggregators won’t be allowed.
Moreover, to a suggestion on Twitter that suspension of surge pricing should continue even after odd-even system Kejriwal said: “Yes. We will do it.”
Ola runs over 500 shuttles in Delhi-NCR covering 120 routes and ferries over 20,000 people on a daily basis.
Ola Shuttle customers need to use the coupon code ODDEVEN to get 100 per cent cash-back on their rides on April 22 and 29, Sahni added.
Delhi government is running the second phase of odd-even scheme from April 15. Under the 15-day scheme, odd and even number cars are allowed to ply on the roads on alternative days. There are no restrictions on Sundays.
Ola has also rolled out an on-ground campaign to encourage citizens across Delhi to adopt ride-sharing. Ola volunteers are stationed at key traffic junctions, around metro stations and other high footfall areas across the city to engage and guide users towards the most suitable ride-sharing option.
Earlier this week, taxi aggregators Ola and Uber suspended surge pricing after Delhi government threatened to cancel permits for charging higher than prescribed fares.
The companies had already contended that surge pricing kicks in when demand outstrips supply and that higher prices are required to get cars on the road during the busiest times.
Following the suspension, many passengers complained of difficulties in booking cabs as lesser number of cars were available on the road.