The Coronavirus pandemic has forced a nationwide lockdown for the next 21 days and only essential services will continue during this period. The current situation has also forced app-based taxi aggregator Ola to stop services temporarily as the nation strives hard to stop spreading the virus further. Having stopped cab services, Ola has now recalled all of its leased cabs back from drivers. The company already announced that it will waive off the daily lease charge for over 30,000 drivers that have leased the cab from the app-based cab services company.
Also Read: Ola Waives Off Rental Fee For Leased Cars
Ola fleet technologies a subsidiary of Ola owns a fleet of different vehicles that are leased out to driver-partners across India. Under the leasing program, the driver-partners pay a non-refundable charge of ₹ 4000 and a refundable deposit of ₹ 21,000-31,000 on the vehicle. The daily rental stands between ₹ 700 and ₹ 1,150 depending on the city and the car model leased.
We‘ve also created vast spaces for securely holding these vehicles. Various ecosystem partners have graciously extended their parking lots and real estate. The @Olacabs team has been working tirelessly to support these drivers over the past few days. #Gratitude pic.twitter.com/tumdjvyZaW— Bhavish Aggarwal (@bhash) March 24, 2020
An Ola spokesperson said, "Driver-Partners who are currently in distress due to the temporary lockdowns to arrest the contagion of COVID-19, will stand to benefit with the reduced economic burden during these times. Further our benefits on insurance for drivers and their spouses against loss of income due to contraction of COVID-19 as well as other medical support during this time will continue to be offered to all our driver-partners across the country."
The decision to waive off the lease emerges with the cars being handed back to Ola by the driver-partners. Sources close to the company tell carandbike that not all cars have managed to come back to the company, especially with the lockdown leaving only a few hours for drivers to handover the vehicles. The lease cabs have been parked at yards and parking lots across the country in the cab aggregators purview until the lockdown has been called off.
With the national lockdown in place, Ola has not announced any kind of compensation for the driver-partners given the fact that the cab was the only source of livelihood for quite a few. The company did announce last week that coverage of ₹ 30,000 will be given to the drivers and their families in case they were tested positive of COVID-19.
The auto industry and the transportation industry at large are expected to suffer major losses over the next few months as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Finance Ministry did announce a number of extensions and rebates for the corporate sector but it will take a while before the industry can recover from the unprecedented losses. Until then, it is important to not venture outside homes unnecessarily.