news, local-news, ola
The ride-sharing service Ola has launched in Ballarat more than a month after originally planned. Often described as a rival to Uber, the app-based service became available on Tuesday (January 28) for residents in the city to use. The service, which was founded in India in 2011 and now operates in several countries worldwide, has been expanding to the Australian regions over the last few months. Its entry into Ballarat is part of a move into eleven new cities and regional areas of Australia. The app is already up and running in most of the state capitals, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra. When its launch in Ballarat was originally announced, a spokesperson said it would definitely be available before Christmas. However, several would-be drivers complained to The Courier about a hold-up to the launch. An Ola spokesperson attributed the delay to a lack of available drivers and said it would need a few more weeks to finalise its arrangements. The company is advertising discounts to rideshare journeys taken in the area for the first two weeks of its launch. Drivers too have been promised zero commission during the first four weeks of the app's launch in the region if they sign up before the end of this week. According to its launch press release, Ola has more than 75,000 registered drivers across Australia. READ MORE: Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.