Guwahati: With the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) easing restrictions on COVID-19 lockdown in select zones, ride-hailing firm Ola has resumed services in over 100 cities across the country. This includes Guwahati in Assam too.
In order to enable a safe riding experience for driver-partners as well as customers, it has also launched a new safety initiative, ‘10 steps to a safer ride’.
The ’10 steps to a safer ride’ initiative emphasises the importance for both the customers and driver partners to contribute equally to ensure safety during all rides. As a protocol, all rides will be driven only across the identified safe zones and to ensure every driver-partner adheres to the safety rules, a mandatory selfie authentication mechanism has been put into place before and after every ride. Furthermore, all cars will be cleaned and sanitized after each ride and a flexible cancellation policy has also been introduced under which both the customer and driver-partner can cancel the ride if they feel the other party is not following the rules or not wearing a mask.
The company has mandated driver-partners and customers to follow five precautionary steps each, encouraging them to practise social distancing, sanitization measures and personal hygiene etiquette at all times. The protocols have been divided as follows:
* No travel in red zones: Vehicles will not operate to and from Government identified red or containment zones.
* Selfie-authentication of drivers: All driver-partners are required to wear masks and need to authenticate this before the start of every ride by sharing a selfie through their partner app.
* Equipped with hygiene kits: Driver-partners will be provided with masks, sanitizers and disinfectants and can avail these at all walk-in centres across their cities.
* Cars to be cleaned regularly: Common surfaces like the handle, inner handle and seat to be cleaned before every ride.
* Flexible cancellations: Drivers and customers are being given the option of cancelling a ride if the other is not wearing a mask to ensure their own safety as well that of subsequent users.
* Wearing a mask is compulsory: All customers boarding the cab need to wear masks and should sanitize before and after every ride.
* AC to be switched off: To avoid re-circulation of air, the AC will be switched off and windows will be kept open during all rides.
* 2 passengers per car: Only two passengers per ride will be allowed in the cab. They will also be urged to sit by the windows on the rear of the car.
* Load and unload luggage themselves: To help maintain social distancing, customers are urged to load and unload luggage themselves.
* Cashless payments: Customers are encouraged to make cashless payments for the rides to avoid any unnecessary contact.