Meru Cabs

Meru Cabs has partnered exclusively with Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) to promote carpooling and create awareness around it across Meru’s operational cities in India. IOCL and Meru will inform people about the latter’s Carpool by Meru option in the Meru Cabs’ app, which will allow regular office goers or car users to share their ride with people going in the same direction, in order to help reduce traffic and pollution.

As a promotion, the company is offering a Toyota sedan car to users of its app offering the maximum number of carpool rides in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane from 1 December 2015 to 31 January 2016. It is also offering a 50% discount (up to Rs 150) on its app bookings to IOCL customers, making a transaction of Rs 1,000 or more at 30 IOCL outlets in Mumbai.

In September, Meru launched its carpool service in India across all of Meru’s 23 operational cities and tied up with Paytm as a payment option. Aimed at reducing the one person per vehicle situation, Meru said that users would be able to save costs on personal transport through its service and reduce the overall carbon footprint. The company also offers rides on inter-city travel with an emergency button where users can store 2 registered numbers for emergency situations.

Ola Share: In October, online cab aggregator Ola launched Ola Share, a ride sharing service in beta, which would match users from ‘social groups’ like people from the same workplace, friends from college etc. This service would be available for select users in Bangalore and 5 other cities till December. Ola claimed that its drivers’ revenue was likely to increase up to 50% by taking continuous rides through Ola Share.

UberPOOL: In September, Uber announced that it would launch its car-pooling product UberPOOL in Bangalore in beta. The company told MediaNama then that it had not locked down on UberPOOL’s pricing, but had the potential to offer savings of 50% or more. UberPOOL would allow users to share rides while splitting the costs on going on similar routes and be launched in some other cities in India, after the company gained insights into commuter adoption and usage from the Bangalore pilot.

Other players in the segment include:

Ryde: In April, the Ibibo Group launched a carpooling app called Ryde, offering both intra-city and inter-city rides.

Tripda: In November 2014, Rocket Internet backed ridesharing service Tripda launched its operations in India, to initially focus on Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Delhi. In February this year, it raised $11 million in funding from Rocket Internet and an undisclosed VC firm.

BlaBlaCar: Ridesharing app BlaBlaCar raised $200 million in funding led by multiple investors to accelerate growth in Europe and focus on existing markets like India.

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MediaNama’s take: The country could definitely do with a higher adoption rate of carpooling (and possibly help in slowing down the rise in global temperatures). It’s not just Delhi which has been grappling with pollution, neighbouring country China just got issued a red alert. Despite the fact that India has 18 cars per 1,000 people (as of 2011, issues with car jams and China notwithstanding), the resulting pollution causes not only in financial but also health losses. Culturally, it might take some time for people to start using the service in India, given our trust issues (totally legit), but will totally be worth it.

Our Meru Cabs coverage here.

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