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Uber to allow private cars to offer car pooling services in Delhi

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Online cab hailing service will start its car pooling service in Delhi from tomorrow and will now allow private car owners to offer rides to commuters. Uber had announced in September that it would be first launching its car pooling service, UberPOOL, in Bangalore in beta.

Interestingly, Uber says that the car pooling service will not be available under UberPOOL, and commuters will have to choose the UberGo option. Users will have to choose whether they want to ride solo or share a ride. Once the carpooling option is selected, Uber will pair passenger and commuters who are headed in the same direction.

Car owners who want to share rides can sign up with Uber here. The company will put applications through their screening process. Car owners can switch on the app on days they are commuting anytime between 7AM and 9PM. They will be prompted to enter their destination and be paired with a passenger heading the same way.

Uber is also positioning the service as an alternative to the Delhi Government’s odd-even rule for cars in response to the city’s rising air pollution problem. “By turning uberGO into a carpooling first product–which makes it easy and convenient for people, especially commuters, to share their journey– we can help improve everyone’s quality of life.  
Carpooling is all about getting more people into fewer cars,” Uber added on its blog.

Pricing

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Uber says that it will provide the estimated fare for solo trips and shared rides when commuters choose the UberGO option. The company claims that fares for shared rides will be 10-30% cheaper. Note that globally, surge pricing applies to UberPOOL rides and it is not clear whether it will apply to shared rides in Delhi.

Uber claims that its drivers make 10-15% more from UberPOOL, as compared to drivers on the Uber platform.

 

Competition

– In October, Ola launched Ola Share, a ride sharing service in beta, which will apparently match users from ‘social groups’ like people from the same workplace, friends from college etc. This service will be available for select users in Bangalore and 5 other cities over the next 3 months.

– In September, ridesharing app BlaBlaCar  raised $200 million in a series D round of funding led by Insight Venture Partners, Lead Edge Capital and participation from Vostok New Ventures. The company said that it would use the investment to accelerate growth in Europe and focus on existing markets like India.

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– There’s also Ibibo’s Ryde (currently operational only in Delhi and a few neighboring cities) and Rocket Internet-backed Tripda (primarily operates in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Delhi).

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