In a bid to increase voter participation in the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections, Ola, one of the world's largest ridesharing platforms, has partnered with the office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka and Mangalore Zilla Panchayat, The Bengaluru District Electoral officer and the Commissioner of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and The District Electoral Officer and Commissioner of Mysore Corporation to provide free rides to Persons with Disabilities (PWD).
As a part of this free service, Ola has assigned 270 cabs to the election commission which will be made available to ferry PWD voters to polling booths. This facility is made available free of cost across Bengaluru, Mysuru, and Mangaluru on 18 April 2019 and Ballari, Hubli-Dharwad, Gulbarga and Belgaum on 23rd April 2019.
Sri Surya Sen A V, IFS, Joint Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka said, "We are committed to increasing the participation of Persons with Disabilities in the General Elections to Lok Sabha this year and are keen to facilitate their constitutional right to vote. We are grateful to Ola and appreciate their efforts in enabling seamless transportation so that every citizen can go out and vote."
Vishnu Bommareddy, Regional Head – South at Ola said, "The upcoming Lok Sabha elections are the largest democratic elections held in the world and ease of mobility is integral to the effective functioning of the system. In the recent past, we have seen that availability of convenient transport options has resulted in positive voter turnout and we will continue to back initiatives that support the constitutional machinery of the country. We are glad to partner with the local authorities and facilitate hassle-free mobility for every voter in Bengaluru."
Ola has set up helpline numbers – 9071464553 / 7624915133 to assist the PWD voters and address any issues that arise. To ensure strict adherence to compliance, IVRs related to the rules of the Election Commission will be played on the driver partners' mobile phone numbers. Additionally, Ola has also arranged a set-up with Nodal Officers and a team of volunteers to make calls to driver partners to verify the status of the scheduled pick-ups of PWD voters on April 18 in Bengaluru, Mysore and Mangaluru