In which cities is Traffline available

Ola Cabs - Ola Cabs

Indian multinational car pool agency

Ola Cabs (stylized as OLΛ ) is an Indian multinational ridesharing company providing services that include vehicle rental and grocery delivery. The company is based in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. As of October 2019, Ola was valued at around $ 6.5 billion. A variety of venture capitalists, including Softbank, have strong stakes in the company.

In January 2018, Ola extended into its first overseas market, Australia and New Zealand in September 2018. In March 2019, Ola began its UK operations introducing auto rickshaws in UK. More than 10,000 drivers applied both online and offline before the start in London. In February 2020, Ola started its taxi hail service with over 25,000 registered drivers.


In March 2015, Ola Cabs acquired the Bengaluru-based taxi service TaxiForSure for approximately £ 1237 crore (US $ 200 million). From June 2015, Ola users were given access to TFS cabins via the Ola mobile application. Later in November, Ola acquired Geotagg, a travel planning applications company, for an undisclosed sum.

To expand beyond booth aggregation, Ola acquired troubled food tech company Foodpanda in December 2017 to capitalize on its growing grocery delivery business. In April 2018, Ola made its second acquisition with Ridlr (formerly Traffline), a public transport ticket app. Later in August 2018, Ola funded Series A funding for scooter rental startup Vogo and again invested another $ 100 million in December.

In March 2019, the Karnataka State Transportation Department suspended Ola's operating license for six months for violating the licensing terms and violating the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Aggregator Rules, 2016. This was due to the fact that Ola operated bicycle taxi services even though she only had a license to operate four-wheeled taxi services. The company said the job was unfortunate and wanted to work with the driving partners to keep working. They also claimed to be in contact with the authorities to sort things out.


Ola offers different levels of service, from economical to luxury travel. The taxis are reserved through a mobile app as well as through their website and the service accepts both cash and cashless payments with Ola money. It claims to average more than 150,000 bookings per day and has a 60% market share in India as of 2014. As of 2019, the company has expanded to a network of more than 1.5 million drivers in 250 cities.

Ola car

In November 2014, Ola diversified to test auto rickshaws in Bengaluru. After the test phase, from December 2014, Ola Auto expanded to other cities such as Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Ola electromobility

Ola spun off its electric vehicle business in February 2019 into a separate entity called Ola Electric Mobility with $ 56 million in funding. Funding was provided by Tiger Global and Matrix India. In addition to electric vehicles, Ola Electric is also working on charging solutions, electric vehicle batteries and developing a functional infrastructure to enable commercial electric vehicles to operate on a large scale. The company announced on May 6, 2019 that Ratan Tata has invested an undisclosed amount in Ola Electric as part of its Series A funding round.

Ola Electric raised $ 250 million from SoftBank during Series B funding in July 2019, valued at over $ 1 billion.

Anand Shah, Ola Electric's co-founder and senior vice president of Ola Cabs, said Ola Electric will need more capital to meet its goal of getting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2021.

Ola Electric acquired Amsterdam-based EV startup Etergo on May 27, 2020 to launch its own line of electric scooters in 2020.

Ola E - CEO Bhavish Aggarwal announced in March 2021 that the company was building a 500 meter, fully automated factory in Hosur town of Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu to manufacture electric two-wheelers. The company claims it will be the largest two-wheeler factory in the world with an annual production capacity of 10 million units.



Ola Cabs' technology has been criticized for the security of its mobile app. The API calls can be repeated to replenish the wallet.

A data breach occurred in August 2016 when customer data such as names, phone numbers and addresses were received as text messages in Bangalore by a person in Chennai. Although this unexpected news was reported to Ola, the company ignored it, even under threat of being reported to the TRAI. The issue was reportedly fixed three weeks later after receiving significant media coverage and social media attention.

On January 19, 2020, a technical error received several users who received notifications like "Your ride is on the way" or "Your ride is here" even though they didn't even try to book through the platform. In some cases, when the trip was canceled, an attempt was made to automatically book another trip.

Overcharging and lack of transparency when loading

Ola Cabs' refund policy has been criticized for loading errors caused by technical glitches in their system. Surge pricing has been a problem for customers as Ola is supposed to first turn off competition by lowering prices and then raise prices through what it calls surge pricing. The fact that the same trip can cost different amounts depending on the time, day and profile, history and rating of the driver and passenger, has also drawn a lot of anger from customers.

Driver concerns

From January 2017, Ola was heavily criticized for continuously reducing driver incentives, which in turn affects the monthly income of the driver partner. Most nowadays are struggling with their monthly EMIs and other fees. The daily income of taxi drivers is now equal to that of drivers driving in the city after all fees have been deducted.

The fees include:

  • Base price (fixed amount)
  • Distance tariff (calculated per kilometer)
  • Travel time tariff (calculated per travel time)
  • Top prices (direct ratio depending on the demand for cabins)
  • GST (5%)
  • Toll fees (toll collection when crossing a toll station)

Ola and Uber have also been criticized for first luring drivers and passengers with discounts and rewards and then increasing fares without passing the proceeds on to drivers. Their practice of removing large amounts of registrations from drivers and not treating them as employees has also been criticized. Both companies treat drivers contractually as "contractors" and thus excuse themselves from any legal obligations. In an interview, OLA co-founder Pranay Jivrajka claimed that the company would create 5 million new "opportunities" over the next five years. However, he was careful not to use the word Jobs on these occasions. He added that it's not just about jobs, it's about creating an ecosystem.

Attacks and murders of Ola taxi drivers

There have been 11 cases of murders and over 90 cases of kidnapping and robbery of drivers working for app-based cab aggregators like Ola by criminals posing as passengers with fake profiles. The most recent case occurred in the city of Pune in June 2019 when a passenger killed the driver in order to steal his car. Two other murders of Ola drivers by robbers took place in New Delhi and Agra, respectively.

Congestion externalities

A recent study found that Ola may be a major contributor to congestion in three major Indian cities - Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi. The adverse effects of congestion were greatest in the busiest areas of each city during peak hours. The study also reported that many who use these services would otherwise have used more efficient public transportation such as the Delhi Metro.

Credibility of the driver

Panic button for passengers in an Ola car in Calcutta

The Delhi Transportation Authority questioned the credibility and required verification of drivers working for Ola, as well as other competitors such as Uber, in early 2015. The investigation found that around 80% of drivers on all services were not licensed to operate commercial transport services in Delhi. The drivers also protested outside Ola's Kukatapally, Hyderabad office, calling for greater transparency on payments.


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