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Uber rival Ola will be in every capital city in Australia, as it continues its expansion across the country

Sharon Masige
  • Ridesharing platform Ola is expanding its reach in Australia – launching across 11 cities and regional areas.
  • It will begin rolling out in Newcastle, the New South Wales Central Coast, Ballarat, Bendigo and Toowoomba before Christmas this year.
  • Ola will then launch in Tasmania, the Northern Territory, Hobart, Darwin, Wollongong, Townsville, Cairns and Mackay.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Ola is continuing its rollout across Australia.

The ridesharing platform is launching in 11 new cities and regional areas in Australia. It will start off with Newcastle, the New South Wales Central Coast, Ballarat, Bendigo and Toowoomba before Christmas this year. Then in 2020, Ola will roll out in Tasmania and the Northern Territory for the first time – entering Hobart and Darwin – as well as Wollongong, Townsville, Cairns and Mackay.

Ola launched in Australia almost two years ago and has signed up more than 75,000 drivers. It currently operates in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra. It's also live in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in New Zealand.

Ola Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Simon Smith said extending operations to the remaining capital cities and across regional Australia has always been part of the company’s long-term growth strategy.

“It’s an important step for Ola," Smith said in a statement. "We’re committed to providing more choice for customers and opportunity for drivers across Australia so they can benefit from our offer of lower commissions and better value rides.

“Providing a safe and affordable alternative for rideshare in eleven new cities and regional centres will benefit thousands of people, particularly as they travel the country over the summer holiday period.”

The company said it takes a "lower cut" of the fare from its drivers than its competitors, believing this makes it a more compelling value proposition.

“We want to offer more people the opportunity to make money on their own schedule – whether it’s driving during weekend and evening peaks, or during seasonal periods,” Smith said.

As an incentive, Ola is offering drivers who sign up by New Year's Eve a starting commission of 7.5%. When the platform goes live new riders can also get 30% off their rides for their first two weeks from sign-up, up to a maximum discount of $10 per ride.

Ola is also launching opening across 11 regional towns and cities in New Zealand in December.

Developed in India, Ola competes with rival ridesharing companies Uber and Didi which also operate in Australia.

The ridesharing company also plans to launch in the UK in 2020, just as Uber lost its license to operate in London.