Ola to introduce services in Torquay after initial positive reaction
Ola, a rival ride-hailing service to Uber, will see its services continue to spread across the South West corner of Britain, as it moves into Torquay and Plymouth.
Speaking at the launch of the service in Exeter, Ben Legg, UK Managing Director of Ola, told DevonLive: “There has been a phenomenal take up from all types of customers. It has mostly been students, as we thought, because they are already comfortable with app-based services, but also young professionals and families who want to avoid parking in Exeter or to go shopping over Christmas or in the January sales. We know that app ride-hailing works but we didn’t know how people would take to it and we have not had to educate people about it as much as we thought.”
Ola has typically filled the gap which Uber has left vacant, allowing the expansion of the service into an area which previously did not have access to ride-hailing apps and services. This expansion to Torquay brings with it the possibility of venturing further to Plymouth within the next 12 months as the uptake of the service has been so successful.
Legg continued: “The costs of car ownership in terms of depreciation, parking and running costs mean there is no point in owning one in a city, particularly when you can’t drive it anywhere because of the traffic. More and more people see that car ownership is crazy given that you may only use it for a few hours a week. More and more we will get used to the concept of Mobility-as-a-Service and that will change the way people live and move around the city. As a 20-year projection that is 100 per cent realistic, I don’t think it will happen within five or 10 years because of the time it takes to change the road layout and get the right infrastructure. Often people change their behaviour when they come to change their car and people start to question whether they really need another one or could they just have one instead of two. Most young people now don’t even consider owning a car.”