After Uber, Ola Launches Carpooling Feature ‘Share’ On Its App

• Ola Cabs will be enabling customers to share rides with people from their social groups
• The company’s new service, Ola Share, has been launched in Bengaluru
• It allows customers to share the journey fare with other Ola customers heading in the same direction

Ola, the country’s largest taxi aggregator, said it will OLAcollaborate with businesses, housing societies and institutions to enable customers to share rides with people from their social groups.

Ola Share, a service launched in Bengaluru that allows customers to share the journey fare with other Ola customers heading in the same direction, is touted to save as much as 50% on fare, much like rival Uber’s UberPool service.

To get more out of this ride-share feature, Ola is now offering to match customers with people from their own defined social circles and extend the service to more cities.

“Ola Share works best when users begin to share their rides within their social groups,” said Anand Subramanian, senior director, marketing communications, at Ola. “We will explore working with businesses, housing societies and institutions who share our vision to create an efficient and scalable transportation solution in every city,” he said.

The initiative has the potential to increase capacities by as much as 300%, Subramanian said. “In a supply-constrained market, a solution like Share can have far-reaching impact in terms of better inventory utilization, lesser vehicular congestion and economical fares in our cities,” he said.

Bengaluru-based Ola, which is present in more than 100 cities with 3,50,000 vehicles, said it will expand its share service to 20 cities over the next six months. Ola has a dedicated 50-member team to scale up the service.

“At scale, a driver will have the potential to earn up to 60% more as a result of improved inventory utilization,” said Subramanian. In November, Ola completed its $500 million (Rs 3,300 crore) fundraise from China’s biggest taxi aggregator Didi Kuaidi, UK-based fund Baillie Gifford and existing investors Falcon Edge Capital, Tiger Global Management, SoftBank and DST Global.

Over the past two years, ride-sharing startups such as Tripda, BlaBlaCar, Ridingo (acquired by CarzonRent), Poolcircle, and Let’s Drive Along have popped up in congested metropolitan cities, introducing a new concept of transportation that is more affordable, accessible, and environmentally sustainable.

In a community car-sharing model, trust and safety become major factors for fellow passengers.

Car-sharing organizations such as BlaBlaCar use social media Facebook as a mandatory login tool. Meru CarPool uses PAN or Aadhaar card of riders for verification.

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