Ride-hailing platform Ola has launched an emergency service on its app to transport people in need of medical care.
The company has partnered with the ministry of health, the government of Karnataka for the initiative, according to a statement.
In order to book an Ola emergency cab, users can select the category “enabled for hospitals” on the Ola app, and enter the drop location from a list of available hospitals in the city.
“After the lockdown for Covid-19, all 108 ambulances are being used. To ensure citizens are not troubled, Ola has come forward and will transport people with all cases of medical trips and emergencies that don’t require an ambulance, between homes and hospitals, for a minimal charge,” said B. Sriramulu, Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka.
The service is currently available in Bengaluru. “We will continue to collaborate with central and state governments to provide hassle-free mobility solutions for essential travel and make similar services available in more cities soon,” Anand Subramanian, spokesperson and head of communications, Ola, said.
Ola cars will be equipped with masks and sanitizers and will be operated by trained drivers. Additionally, the company has enabled over 200 hospitals on its app to provide the service and has ensured cabs are used only for essential medical travel, the statement added.
Last week, Ola collaborated with the Karnataka state government and stakeholders like the corona task force, to help ferry senior citizens in need of medical support across Bengaluru, Hubli and Dharwad. Through its ‘Ola Foods’ initiative, the company has been supporting various efforts to provide migrant workers with quality, hygienic food in Bengaluru.
Ola has also launched a fund to support auto-rickshaw, cab and black-and-yellow taxi drivers facing income loss due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Dubbed Drive the Driver Fund, will receive Rs 20 crore from the Ola Foundation, the social welfare arm of the Bengaluru-based company. Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of the company, will forgo a year’s salary to contribute to the fund, a statement said.