Drivers and customers reeling after Ola Rideshare abruptly discontinues operations in Australia

Caleb Runciman
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Simon Smith, Managing Director of Ola. Megan Powell The West Australian 11/11/19.
Simon Smith, Managing Director of Ola. Megan Powell The West Australian 11/11/19. Credit: Megan Powell/The West Australian

Drivers and customers of one of the nation’s most recognisable rideshare companies have been left reeling after it abruptly announced the suspension of its Australian operation.

Ola Rideshare has sent customers an email saying it will stop offering rides from April 12, with users around the country reporting they had received the email.

“This means that you will no longer be able to book any rides through your Ola app from that date,” the email said.

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“You must not take any rides with any vehicle purporting to be an Ola vehicle or Ola driver from 12th April 2024.

“Ola has not authorised any driver or any other party to use the Ola brand or provide rides on Ola’s behalf.”

Ola has not officially commented on the email but multiple customers have received it.

It is understood drivers have also been sent an email urging them to download all relevant information for tax and business purposes before the app becomes unavailable on May 11.

Any customer complaints or general queries would need to be submitted before the same date.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support for Ola,” the email said.

The company has not publicly addressed recent outages and has recently said waves of unavailability were due to a technical issue.

On Monday night, the Ola app was not working and showed no ride availability in Perth’s northern suburbs.

Chris, who drove for the rideshare company in Perth said the number of customers using the service had dwindled over the past few months.

“Customers weren’t using it all. Ola stopped advertising and putting up promotions for their riders, so the support started to disappear pretty quickly,” he told morning radio.

“I contacted Ola over a week-and-a-half ago and their response was yes, we’re not going to support Western Australia anymore.

“I said, ‘Is that going to change?’ And they said, ‘We have no idea’.

“So it’s a complete turnaround. They just don’t care about Western Australia anymore.”

The rideshare company has reportedly pulled out of New Zealand too — with Ola customers in Auckland also receiving a similar email

Ola could not be contacted for comment.

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