Ola, one of the world's largest ridesharing platforms, has today launched Australia's first-ever guide to rideshare etiquette, The Ride Guide. Developed with Susie Wilson, one of the nation's leading experts on modern manners, the guide helps Australians navigate the world of rideshare with plenty of tact, charm, and as little awkwardness as possible.
The Australian rideshare industry is growing at a rapid rate and Australians are jumping on the bandwagon, taking more than 2 million rides each week. The Ride Guide seeks to take the guesswork out of how to behave in your rideshare and provide a set of etiquette tips and tricks to ensure both passengers and drivers have the best ride possible. From passengers who think their drivers are furniture removalists, to drivers who don't understand that riders are not interested in their 'life changing' pyramid scheme, Ola wants to tackle these issues head-on.
"In Ola's Ride Guide, we've outlined some of the modern-day conundrums and bungles experienced between drivers and riders, along with tips on how to navigate these awkward situations and a definitive answer as to what counts as good behaviour when taking a ride," said Wilson. "Looking for a way to subtly let your driver know that you'd prefer silence, without being rude? The Ride Guide tells you how."
Simon Smith, Managing Director, Ola Australia, said The Ride Guide is an important initiative as rideshare use in Australia continues to grow.
"We know Australians love rideshare and the convenience, value and safety that an app like Ola brings to the way people move about our cities and towns. But it's also clear that good manners can mean different things to different people and as a community, we're still working out what that looks like in rideshare."
"Ola approached Susie to work with us to develop guidelines and tips that will help standardise the social expectations across these interactions and raise the bar for rideshare experiences."
So, how can you improve your 'rideshare manners'? Check out Susie Wilson's top tips in Ola's Ride Guide here before your next rideshare trip. See how you measure up!
Question: What is ridesharing?
Simon Smith: Ridesharing is a modern form of urban transport, best known as a car service in which a person can use a smartphone app to book a ride in a privately owned vehicle. Ridesharing has become popular in recent years, often taking the place of taxis, because it is a convenient, cost effective, safe and cashless form of transport. Ola is one of the world's largest ridesharing platforms and in Australia, is available to riders in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth.
Question: How can Aussies use the Ola rideshare option?
Simon Smith: Consumers can book a ride of their choice on Ola by simply downloading the free app on iOS or Android and registering their details. New users will get 50% off their rides for the first two weeks, up to a max of $10 discount per ride.
Question: What are some of the tips included in The Ride Guide?
Susie Wilson: Ola's Ride Guide includes a variety of tips and tricks for both riders and drivers to help Australians navigate the world of rideshare. From passengers who think their drivers are furniture removalists, to drivers who don't understand that riders are not interested in talking, the guide tackles the issues head on. The guide also looks at unpicking the subtle art of seating and how where you sit can ultimately let your driver know your interest (of lack of) in chatting, to providing tips on how you can get the music selection you want, and much more!
You can check out the full list of tops in Ola's Ride Guide here!
Question: How did you go about collating The Ride Guide?
Susie Wilson: Ola strives to help create the best rideshare experience for both drivers and passengers, and enlisted me, an etiquette expert with over 30 years of experience in modern-manners and social and business etiquette, to unpick the awkward interactions and frustrations both riders and drivers face, when using rideshare. As a result, in partnership, we created a helpful tool to help navigate these situations and remove some of the misunderstandings that can lead to frustration.
Ola recognises that whilst the vast majority of riders, and drivers, are respectful and polite, sometimes there can be awkwardness and frustration from both sides. As ridesharing has quickly become very popular in Australia, it is still a new mode of transportation and many people still aren't quite sure how we should interact when using these services. The Ride Guide is designed to help take the guesswork out of using rideshare and standardise the social expectations across these interactions, raising the bar for rideshare experiences.
Question: How is the seat we choose in an Ola, essential in giving our driver a hint on what type of ride you'd like?
Susie Wilson: Where you sit should act as big indicator with your driver on the level of interaction you'd like to have. Body language can give your driver the hint and get the message across without the need to use any words at all. For example, if you're up for a good chat, jump in the front seat - this shows your openness to converse with the driver. Whereas, if you are sitting directly behind the driver, by avoiding the face-to-face interaction, you're essentially letting the driver know that what you want is to travel in comfortable silence.
Question: Where should we sit if we would like a quiet ride?
Susie Wilson: If you don't want chat to your driver at all, sit in the back seat directly behind the driver. This seat will let your driver know that you'd prefer silence. If your driver still converses with you, politely let your driver know that you've had a long day/night and you plan to put your headphones in. A polite heads up is sure to do the trick!
Question: Is it incorrect etiquette to talk or scroll on our phone, in an Ola, especially when using rideshare?
Susie Wilson: Riders should feel empowered to talk or scroll on their phones as they please. If you want to use your phone, a polite heads up to your driver that you are going to be taking a call or would prefer to sit in silence is a respectful way to let them know where your attention will be. These tips serve as a friendly reminder on how to best treat each other when interacting in a rideshare vehicle and how to handle any awkward situations gracefully.
Interview by Brooke Hunter