Two teenage boys ordered out of an Ola cab on the Auckland Harbour Bridge when the driver realised he had gone the wrong way, had to run down an onramp to get out of danger.

The terrifying incident on Friday night has been described by one of the boy's mothers as "absolute madness" and she has lodged a complaint with the ride app.

Ola says it takes safety seriously and investigates all serious allegations of behaviour that endangers passengers.

The son of former TVNZ staffer Andi Brotherston and his friend, aged 16 and 17 respectively, booked the Ola cab from Glen Innes to Westhaven when the drama unfolded at 10.15pm.


Brotherston, who tweeted about the incident, said the boys were trying to get to Curran St, which runs underneath the city approach to the bridge.

"The app took them onto State Highway 1 and they were expecting the driver to turn off at some point and head into Ponsonby," Brotherston said.

"But when the driver realised he was going the wrong way, that was right at the approach to the Harbour Bridge."

She said what happened next was horrifying.

"At that point the driver just pulled over and told them to get out."

When the Sacred Heart College students protested, the driver yelled at them, Brotherston said.

"When the boys said 'We're not really keen to get out on the Harbour Bridge because it's really dangerous', the guy swore at them and told them to get out and so they did.

"The boys' said he was saying: 'You f***ing get out of my car'. It's so dangerous.


"You're not allowed to stop on the bridge anyway but actually to stop on the bridge and insist. They didn't feel like they had a choice."

Once out, the Year 12 students were abandoned by the driver, who took off over the bridge.

Their safest option was to run down a nearby onramp from Curran St into the path of oncoming vehicles.

"They were both wearing dark clothes at quarter past 10 on a Friday night, on an eight-lane motorway, on the approach to the Harbour Bridge - it's a really dangerous thing to do."

She couldn't understand why the driver, who at that point had no choice but to go over the Harbour Bridge, could not have driven them over and back and returned the boys safely to their address.

Brotherston complained via the app and Twitter and received an apology from Om Choudhary of Ola's Australia New Zealand customer care service.

After the Herald made inquiries an Ola representative in Australia contacted Brotherston and said her complaint was being escalated and they would refund the fare.

Brotherston wanted Ola to update its safety standards to include collection and drop-off as well as the actual ride.

Currently Ola's safety standards focus on protecting customers' privacy information and safety from a driver in that there is an emergency button available during a ride and the ride can be tracked in real time.

An Ola spokesman told the Herald safety was its number one priority.

"We take any reports of behaviour that endangers passengers or drivers seriously.

"Any such reports are investigated by a specialist team as an urgent priority and drivers are given an opportunity to respond to any actions taken against them."

He said drivers found to have breached Ola standards receive a warning notice and may be subject to sanctions including being permanently banned from the platform if the incident is serious.