Bengaluru-based ride-hailing firm Ola said that in just three weeks, over 10,000 PHV (private hire vehicle) drivers in London have registered to drive on the platform. In addition, the SoftBank-backed firm said that it has extended a first of its kind offer that enables drivers to enjoy 0 per cent commission for the first two months after the launch, allowing them to retain 100 per cent of their earnings from the platform.
“We are very pleased with the overwhelming response from drivers across London. Every interaction with drivers in the city has presented us with an opportunity to create a platform that best serves their needs, as well as those of consumers,” said Simon Smith, Head of International, Ola. “We are also very excited that a large number of these registrations have occurred through referrals and word of mouth amongst drivers, reiterating their trust in the Ola platform and the attractiveness of our offer. We look forward to working closely with drivers in building a high quality and reliable mobility service for Londoners.”
Going forward, Ola said it will continue to offer the best revenue share for drivers, allowing them to keep more of their earnings, in line with the company’s unique driver-centric approach. Over the past three weeks, more than 10,000 London drivers have signed up both online and offline to drive with Ola, completing the required checks to drive on the platform. Driver documents have been verified and mandatory training modules, created by Ola, will help ensure that drivers are ready to use the platform when it launches in the coming weeks.
Ola has expanded rapidly across the UK since its launch last year, operating across 27 local authorities. Cities including Birmingham, Coventry and Warwick have seen more than double-digit growth in rides in the last quarter. To date, Ola said it has provided around 3 million rides with over 11,000 drivers operating on the platform outside London.
Ola received an operating licence from Transport for London (TfL), the UK Capital’s transport regulator earlier this year. Last month Ola’s US-based rival Uber lost its licence to operate in London. TfL had said that Uber will not be given a new licence in London after repeated safety failures. A key issue identified was that a change to Uber's systems allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts. This allowed them to pick up passengers as though they were the booked driver, which occurred in at least 14,000 trips - putting passenger safety and security at risk.
Ola said all drivers on its platform are PHV license holders, authorised to drive and extend their services to consumers by TfL. This includes mandatory verification of documents, an 'enhanced' criminal records check, disclosure and barring service (DBS) training and medical examination amongst other TfL requirements. Drivers will also have to go through a mandatory training module from Ola that familiarises them with customer service, app and platform usage, safety features, as well as various avenues of support available to them from the company.