You can pick your date in a luxury car this weekend for rates as cheap as Rs.19 per km. Ola, an on-demand transportation technology aggregator, has introduced a new category on their app called ‘Ola Lux’, a service which provides luxury cars such as Jaguar, Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Toyota Camry and Fortuner, piloting in the chic location of South Mumbai. It will soon cover the rest of the city.
Ola’s low-fare policy is applicable in the luxury experience too. Although the minimum fare for air-conditioned fleet taxis operating in Mumbai Metropolitan Region is Rs 29, Ola Lux is available for booking at a minimum fare of Rs 200 for 5km, and Rs 19 per km then on. Ride time charge of Rs 2 per minute is also applicable.
In a statement, Raghuvesh Sarup, Head of Categories and Chief Marketing Officer at Ola, said, “With a growing number of young executives, entrepreneurs and professionals, the need for on-demand luxury sedans is growing tremendously in a city like Mumbai. Young adults like the flexibility of not having to drive in heavy traffic or having to park, while still travelling in a stylish luxury ride made available within minutes via the Ola app on their smartphone!”
The statement says that the Lux icon appears on Ola app when the customer is in one of the designated areas in Mumbai. Features like driver details being displayed upfront, SOS buttons, AutoConnect Wifi, live tracking and seamless payment using Ola Money will continue to be available on Ola Lux, it added.
Although luxury vehicles for rent are not unheard of, chauffeured availability is new to Mumbai. About a year ago, Ola’s biggest rival Uber had conducted a campaign with luxury cars like Audi and Hummer on its platform – “Uber Supercars” ‑ in Delhi, in collaboration with automobiles’ marketplace Droom. Bike rentals are common in the country, with players like Wicked Ride offering luxury experience with Harley Davidson. However, bike taxis are still a no-no in the cities except Delhi. In fact, Ola was in trouble in Bengaluru recently, when they launched two-wheeler taxi service ‘Ola Bike’ in March`. Within a few days, the Transport authorities seized the entire fleet on the grounds of lack of permit to offer bike taxi services. Uber Moto, the bike taxi service launched by Uber at the same time, also met with the same fate. Ola had also shut down its hyperlocal grocery delivery service Ola Store and food delivery service Ola Cafe also shut down in March.