After launching in Perth Ola, a popular Indian ride-sharing platform, has landed in Sydney.

“We’ve been very pleased with how the service has been received by customers, driver-partners and the community in Perth and can’t wait to continue building on these experiences and learnings … in Sydney,” says Ola’s head of international, Chandra Nath.

Founded in 2011 by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola is similar to Uber and Taxify in that it connects its users to a range of transport options through an app. Like Uber, rides can be taken to and from Sydney Airport and first-time customers are offered free rides. Also like Uber Ola has been in the news for cutting driver pay.

Uber drivers must be minimum 21 years old, while Ola does not require its drivers to be a specific age. Both Ola and Uber drivers must have held a full Australian driver’s licence for at least 12 months. At Uber, a driver’s vehicle must also have four doors, be less than 10 years old (for UberX, other Uber services have different requirements) and be free from cosmetic damage. Ola, on the other hand, does not list any vehicle requirements (apart from registration, roadworthiness and third-party insurance).

Ola and Uber customers must pay a minimum fare of $9 and a booking fee of 55 cents.

Wolf Aron, head of operations for Ola in Australia, says the company stands apart because of its dedication to the wellbeing of its drivers. “We know that a happy driver means a happy rider,” he told Broadsheet. Aron says he plans to support Ola’s team through new technology, training and increased earnings for its staff. A 24-hour support network has also been put in place and the company will host meet-and-greet-style events every few months to receive feedback.

Aron says drivers can earn more with Ola, are paid daily and get a 7.5 per cent commission for the first 30 days after Ola’s launch in Sydney. The standard commission rate is 15 per cent, which is lower than Uber’s 25 per cent.

In India the platform is used by 125 million people. One million drivers are signed up across more than 110 cities.

Downloaded on Google Play or from the app store.

Drivers can register here for free.

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