Ola, one of the world's largest ridesharing platforms, officially rolls into action in Napier and Hastings today.
The local launch of the popular app is part of an expansion for Ola across 11 new cities and towns in New Zealand, as it brings more competition to ridesharing throughout the country. Three of the new locations - Hamilton, Tauranga and Queenstown - went live in mid-December.
Ola has become NZ's fastest-growing rideshare company by giving customers competitive fares and regular offers. Drivers have welcomed the arrival of a new player which takes a lower cut of their fare, thereby increasing what they can earn.
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Brian Dewil, Ola's NZ country manager, says its plans to expand to more centres have had positive feedback, with drivers from Napier and Hastings already flocking to the platform.
"We've seen strong interest from rideshare drivers in the Hawke's Bay area so far, and are expecting to see the number of cars on the app grow over the coming weeks as more drivers join us for the new nil per cent commission offer.
"We're excited to bring Ola to Napier and Hastings, giving the people of these cities a new option for getting around town, and helping drivers make more money."
Ola has already attracted 9000 drivers across New Zealand, by offering much lower commissions than its largest competitor, Uber, helping drivers earn more on every Ola ride.
As one of the world's leading technology companies, Ola is committed to developing new industry-first safety features which will give both customers and drivers added peace of mind, Dewil said.
Ola is the only rideshare platform in New Zealand to have a new "one-time passcode" system. It works by sending passengers a unique four-digit code when they book a ride.
This is then shared with the driver who must successfully enter the code into the app before the ride can begin, making sure the right passenger is matched with the correct car and driver.
Ola also operates in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Tauranga, Hamilton and Queenstown, with Napier and Hastings and a further seven new cities going live across the nation today.
Local customers can now enjoy cheaper rides and the city's rideshare drivers are taking up this opportunity to earn more in the first few weeks of the year.
As part of the local launch, Ola will give rideshare drivers in Napier and Hastings who complete their registration by January 31 100 per cent of the fare on every ride they take with the platform across a four-week period.
The rideshare app is also offering new customers 30 per cent off all rides for their first two weeks, as well as a $20 credit when they refer a friend, with a $10 ride credit for their pal too.
Residents from Napier and Hastings can download the Ola app from the App Store and Google's Play Store, and with Apple Pay integration it's easy for new users to start booking rides straight away.