TAKING THE WHEEL: Prellin Chetty has signed up as a driver with Ola, which has just launched in Ipswich.
TAKING THE WHEEL: Prellin Chetty has signed up as a driver with Ola, which has just launched in Ipswich. Rob Williams

Say 'Ola' to Ipswich's newest ride-share

FROM quietly launching in Ipswich six months ago, popular ride-sharing service Ola has now had "double digit thousands" of rides locally.

Driver Prellin Chetty has been on board with the company as soon as he could.

"I'm originally from Sydney, I started driving with Ola down there, I moved up to Queensland in November last year," he said.

"I registered for Ola as soon as I got to Queensland and I've been driving since then.

"(Brisbane is) not as busy as Sydney, the area I'm staying in is pretty quiet with Ola but over the last month or so I have been getting more rides in the Ipswich area using Ola."

To entice folk away from Uber, Ola have several specials running to entice new riders, such as half-price rides, 30 per cent off air port trips and cheaper fares.

"I am an accountant so I just work from home and jump in the car and my computer and work between rides," Mr Chetty said.

"It gives people a blend when working from home - if you feel lonely at home, you jump in the car, catch some rides, have a chat to someone, it's pretty good."

Ola's managing director in Australia and New Zealand, Simon Smith, said Ola demand was the main driver for the increased catchment for rides.

"Brisbane is too often neglected by new interest into Australia. We realised it's a very vibrant economy and people are looking for a cost effective and easy way to get around," he said.

"We opened in downtown Brisbane a year ago and a few months ago we saw a lot of our rides were beginning and ending at this rather arbitrary border we'd drawn around Brisbane city.

"We realised there is actually a lot of demand for ride-share further outs of the CBD so we launched in Ipswich and surrounds about six months ago.

"It was a soft launch initially because we wanted to ensure we had enough rides to supply everyone. But we have been pleasantly surprised by the growth we have seen."

Mr Smith said Ipswich is a hotbed for drivers, with numbers in the "triple figures" residing here, making it a no brainer to start sharing.

"Thousands of people taking rides in and around Ipswich, into the city and into the airport," he said.

Locally, the two biggest pick up/drop off points are shopping centres and train stations.



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