Ola launches £20m 'Ride Safe UK’ campaign to drive up COVID-19 safety standards

Ride-hailing company, Ola, one of the world's biggest ride-hailing companies, has today announced the launch of its new ’Ride Safe UK’ campaign.

Ola will invest £50m over the next 12 months to develop safety initiatives in four key areas, which will then be rolled out across Ola’s global markets. Up to £20m will be invested in the UK.

The private hire operator will support this investment by working with UK innovators and experts in public safety to ensure that initiatives represent best practice in safety and mobility.

Ride Safe UK will seek to develop initiatives in the UK ride-hailing market, driving up standards in four areas as a priority: Driver Safety and Standards; Industry-wide Initiatives; Technology and Innovation; and Vehicle Standards.

As a first step in the rollout of Ride Safe UK and to demonstrate its own commitment to the programme, Ola is introducing a new Ola Safety Guidelines and Code of Conduct for all drivers and riders to ensure safe travel, under the first area above of Driver Safety and Standards. As part of these guidelines, Ola has introduced another industry safety initiative that requires drivers to clean and disinfect the interior of their cars between each ride.

The Code of Conduct includes:

Drivers must:

  • Clean and disinfect the interior of the car between each ride.

Riders and drivers must:

  • Wear a non-medical face covering for the duration of the journey

  • Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitiser and use it before and after getting in the car

  • Keep the car ventilated by winding down the windows. Alternatively, if the AC is requested it will not be set to recirculate

  • Ensure that riders sit in the back and sit on the back-left seat if travelling solo to social distance.

Marc Rozendal, Ola’s UK Managing Director, said: “At Ola, the safety and well-being of our riders, drivers and that of the communities we connect, is our absolute priority. The launch of Ride Safe UK and the introduction of the new Ola Safety Guidelines will see riders and drivers working together to protect each other and the community as the UK gets moving.

“Ride Safe UK, and our investment behind it, demonstrates our long-term commitment and focus on raising safety standards across the industry. In the current environment this is more important than ever.”

To further develop Ride Safe UK, Ola will explore a range of initiatives under the four priority areas:

  • Driver Safety and Standards: example initiatives could include rigorous driver training modules on hygiene and safety, and certifications using partnerships with industry leaders

  • Industry-wide Initiatives: example initiatives could include data sharing initiatives and forums with third-party bodies to share best practice

  • Technology and Innovation: example initiatives could include further app updates which reflect the new normal on safety

  • Vehicle Standards: example initiatives could include enhanced mapping solutions.  

Ola will also require drivers to confirm they agree to all aspects of the Ola Safety Guidelines at the start of each day. Riders must do similarly before making a booking. If riders or drivers feel their counterpart has failed to uphold the guidelines, they have the option to cancel the ride. The new Ola Safety Guidelines complement and build on the launch of TfL’s new mandatory requirements for drivers and passengers that requires face coverings for the duration of each journey. Ola have said that they will continue to work with the UK Government and local authorities to share learnings around safety on mobility.

Image credits: Ola

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