Ola’s recently launched carpooling service ‘Share Express’, which allows users to order cabs along common fixed routes of a city is now live in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi NCR and Jaipur. Customers whose pickup and drop-off locations coincide with the fixed routes can click on the ‘Share Express within the app. Ola claims that rides within these limited fixed routes are 30% cheaper starting at Rs 40 for a 4 km ride.
A customer can book a Share Express along “100 busiest routes” on demand in theses 4 cities “just like a public transport line but with infinite stops”. Peak pricing fares will not be applicable and there is no designated timing for these rides. The company plans to extend Share Express to over 300 routes in 10 cities in the near future, although a timeline was not mentioned.
Routes in Bangalore:
Routes in Mumbai:
Routes in Delhi/NCR:
Workaround for shuttle services?
By categorizing routes and bringing more cabs along these selected routes Ola is clearly looking to tap the market that app based shuttle services like ZipGo and Shuttl were operating on. The only difference is that instead of shuttles, Ola is deploying cabs.
App bases shuttle services have hit a roadblock with transport regulators due to permits and other licensing regulations. Ola had also launched its own Shuttle service back in September 2015 in Bangalore and Gurgaon, but was later suspended in Gurgaon (along with Shuttl) due to regulatory troubles . The Ola Shuttle service does not show up on the app anymore in Bangalore city limits. So this seems more like a workaround entry into Shuttle services category.
Note that last October Ola’s rival operator Uber clarified with MediaNama that it does not have any plans to launch ride-hailing services that aggregates shuttles, buses and mini-vans in India any time soon.
Uber POOL has 50K weeky users in Delhi & Bangalore
Meanwhile, Uber claimed that in Delhi and Bangalore, UberPOOL (ridesharing service) accounted for 25% of all its trips. In both these cities, 50,000 users are using the service every week. Uber POOL was initially launched in September 2015 in Bangalore. The company had also launched its private carpooling service Uber COMMUTE in Delhi and Bangalore in January last year.