Uber rival Ola quits Australia - SUV VEHICLE

Uber rival Ola quits Australia

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The unprofitable rideshare company looks set to leave Australia after users and contractors were locked out of the service.

Rideshare company Ola is closing its Australian operations from today after the Uber rival’s service was blocked for customers and its workers in several capital cities.

While Ola has not issued an official public statement – with its press contacts unable to be reached to confirm or deny the move – Nine reports users of the rideshare service have been unable to access the service.

Ola bookings across Australia remain unavailable, while the ‘drivers’ page of its local website currently reads: “Please be advised our local driver offices will be closed until further notice.”

Indications Ola was shutting shop in Australia were strengthened by an email sent to users and drivers on 9 April from the company.

“Ola will discontinue operations in your area on 12th April 2024,” the email read.

“This means that you will no longer be able to book any rides through your Ola app from that date.”

For Ola drivers, the email advised: “You must not take any rides with any vehicle purporting to be an Ola vehicle or Ola driver from 12th April 2024.

“Ola has not authorised any driver or any other party to use the Ola brand or provide rides on Ola’s behalf.”

“You must destroy any and all Ola materials, stickers and labels, and copies of Ola permits you may have in your possession or control and remove all Ola stickers or labels from your vehicle.”

Ola – formed in India in 2011 – has been operating in Australia since 2018 but scaled back local operations in 2020 and hasn’t posted on its social media channels since 2021.

According to the Australian Financial Review, Ola has not made a profit in Australia.

Ola’s New Zealand operations are also reportedly set to close, leaving the company operating in only the United Kingdom (UK) and India.

Major investor Vanguard valued the rideshare company’s global worth at $US1.88 billion ($AU2.84 billion) in February 2024, down from $US7.3 billion ($AU11 billion) in 2021.

Uber is facing a civil case in the Supreme Court of Victoria, revolving around tactics the US company allegedly used to gain an unfair competitive advantage over the taxi app GoCatch, which closed in 2021.

In March 2024, Uber paid $278 million to taxi drivers and hire-car owners to settle a class action against the company in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Ola’s departure leaves Chinese company DiDi as the only rideshare rival to Uber and taxi services in Australia.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) secretary Michael Kaine told Nine it was seeking an urgent meeting with Ola.

Like Uber, Ola is a ‘gig economy’ company, with such organisations paying workers for their time and distance instead of set hours.

They employ them as contractors instead of casual, permanent part-time or full-time employees, with no legal obligation to pay workers benefits such as superannuation and do not have to pay a minimum wage.

“Ola’s exit shows how critical it is to get standards in place to lift pay and make transport gig jobs safe, secure and sustainable,” said Kaine.

The post Uber rival Ola quits Australia appeared first on Drive.



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