Ola, one of India's largest cab aggregator platforms, is testing a new subscription-based feature called Ola Pass in India, offering flat fares for a select number of Ola Micro, Mini, or Prime rides at a fixed rate. The feature is set to compete with a similar feature from US-based rival Uber that was also spotted in testing recently, called Uber Ride Pass. An Ola Auto Pass feature was also spotted.
The Ola Pass subscription is not visible to all users yet, and we spotted it in the Delhi-NCR region. As per the description within the app, Ola Pass is available only for a few cities in India - namely, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and Mumbai. We've reached out to Ola for comment on the Ola Pass subscription, and will update this space accordingly.
As we mentioned, the new Ola Pass feature will offer discounted, flat fares for daily commute rides. According to the Ola Pass tab on the Ola app, rides will be applicable at flat fares with no peak pricing. Ola Pass is different from Ola Share Pass as the former provides flat fares only for Micro, Mini, and Prime rides, while the already launched Share Pass feature offers flat rates for Ola Share rides. Share rides and rentals are not part of the new Ola Pass feature. Ola Pass is also different from Ola Select as it does not claim to offer benefits like priority booking, priority support airport lounge access, top drivers and cars, etc.
As we mentioned, Ola Pass is similar to what Uber has been spotted testing with the Uber Ride Pass, seen in markets like Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai. As per user reports, the Uber Ride Pass subscription is visible but cannot be purchased yet. On the other hand, we were able to purchase Ola Pass subscription.
Ola's new feature is rolling out to only the above mentioned cities in India. The flat fares range from 5km to 20km, offering riders with options to choose from. Interestingly, regular (or peak) pricing will be applicable if the destination is more than your chosen Ola Pass package. For instance, if you choose the 20km pass and your destination is 22km away, the pass benefits will not apply on the ride.
You can choose from 5, 10, and 20 rides per month, according to the frequency of travel. The Ola Pass can also be cancelled, much like Ola Share Pass, with the amount getting refunded to the Ola Money balance.
For users in Delhi, Ola Pass has options for 10km, 15km, and 20km distance barriers. In the 10km cab pass, you can ride in a Micro for Rs. 105, a Mini for Rs. 120, and a Prime cab for Rs. 140. In the 15km cab pass, the flat fare for Micro is Rs. 175, for Mini is Rs. 190, and for Prime is Rs. 230. And, with the 20km cab pass, users can avail a Micro at a flat fare of Rs. 225, a Mini for Rs. 249, and a Prime for Rs. 289.
In Mumbai, cab passes are applicable for rides of 7km, 12km, and 20km. In the 7km cab pass, Micro fare is Rs. 120, Mini fare is Rs. 130, and Prime fare is Rs. 160. In the 12km pass, Micro is Rs. 180, Mini is Rs. 200, and Prime has a fare of Rs. 250. The 20km cab pass offers a Micro fare of Rs. 270, a Mini fare of Rs. 290, and a Prime fare of Rs. 350.
For Bengaluru, options include 5km, 10km, and 16km. For the 5km pass, riders can avail a flat fare of Rs. 140 on Micro, Rs. 150 on Mini, and Rs. 165 on Prime. And, the 16km pass offers Micro rides at Rs. 210, Mini rides at Rs. 220, and Prime rides at Rs. 240.
Subscription for these cab passes seems to be available at discounted rates as well. In Delhi, you can buy a cab pass as low as Rs. 19 and as high as Rs. 109. Additionally, in Mumbai the rates vary from Rs. 99 to Rs. 499. In Bengaluru, cab passes are priced from Rs. 99 to Rs. 499 too. We will get more clarity on these fares and rates once the feature goes official.
The app also shows an Auto Pass that seems to be applicable only in Bengaluru. The Auto Pass is currently available only for 7km and 9km distance barriers. Ola seems to be offering these auto passes for a discounted rate of Rs. 5 for a 5-ride pass and Rs. 10 for a 10-ride pass.
Ola had recently launched its new Ola Lite app aimed at Tier II and Tier III cities in India. Ola Lite is a lightweight app and has a file size of just about 1MB.