On May 18, cab-aggregating apps Ola and Uber announced that they were starting operations in many India cities after the government relaxed containment rules against coronavirus pandemic as part of Lockdown 4.0 in the country. The fresh lockdown, which is going to last until May 31, allows operations of number services and public transport including Ola and Uber, although finally decisions related to enforcement and permissions have to be decided by respective states.
“In compliance with Lockdown 4.0 guidelines by the Government, Uber is resuming services across more cities in India. Riders will constantly be notified with further information and the status of specific cities through our app,” Uber said in a statement.
It noted that Uber services are now available in:
In addition Uber said that Uber Essential, which is basically a delivery service for essential items, is available in Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad, Indore, Mumbai, and Nashik through the Uber app.
Ola too has started its service. In a statement it says, “As per the latest guidelines issued by various State Government today, driver-partners operating three and four-wheelers on the platform will be available to serve mobility needs on the Ola app, with the highest levels of safety precautions in the states of Karnataka, Telangana, Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu (except Chennai), Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Assam.”
Ola is going to be available in 160 plus cities, the company said.
Both Ola and Uber have come out with guidelines that riders and drivers will have to follow. The important guidelines are:
— Drivers will wear facemasks. Riders too will be required to wear facemasks. If riders don’t have masks, drivers will be allowed to cancel the ride. Same for riders, who will also be able to cancel the ride in case driver is not wearing a mask.
— AC will not be switched on in the car. Instead, car windows will be rolled down so that natural air circulates within the car and lowers the risk of coronavirus infection.
— Only two passengers will be allowed in the car. They will have to sit on the back seats.
— Riders will have to handle their luggage on their own.
— Both Ola and Uber have said that they will ensure the cars are sanitised well and that drivers have proper sanitation kits.