Uber has replaced its UberSUV category with UberXL, a lower cost SUV ride option with 6 seats. Currently, the company does not state how much the per km costs are. Uber claims that UberXL will be cheaper than any of its counterparts on other services.
In Pune, UberSUV still shows as an option and the minimum fare is Rs 150, while the per km cost comes to around Rs 30 including the base fare and distance travelled but does not include the time charge which is usually Re 1 per minute for its other categories.
In Mumbai, Uber will also start charging its users Rs 14 per km after the first 25 kms to “justify partner economics” on UberGO. Uber had first revised its charges for long distance rides in Bangalore in August last year for its UberX and UberGO vehicles. The Mumbai change follows increased fares for longer distances in both Pune and Delhi. Last month, we reported that Uber drivers would get incentives for every extra ride they completed over the predetermined number of rides they had signed up for.
Note that Uber shuttered its more expensive UberBlack service everywhere in India, except Mumbai. Uber plied BLACK cars on a commission basis and charged Rs 200 as minimum fare, in addition to Rs 18 per km.
Uber’s replacement of the SUV with a cheaper XL option appears like an adoption driving tactic on face value, primarily given that it is facing not just higher fees and regulation in the city, but also resistance from the traditional taxi operators. Uber claims that Maharashtra’s City Taxi Rules, 2016 will also cause higher wait times for its users. In fact, earlier this month, Amit Jain, Uber’s India president called for deregulation of the app-based transport industry in India.
Ola, on the other hand, has asked for regulation, accusing Uber of using predatory pricing to gain users, despite opposing the high license fees itself. The Uber rival has apparently cut its fares in response to Uber’s fare price cuts in the country, but otherwise charges a 20% higher fare in cities where Uber does not yet ply in India. Uber recently expanded to its 29th city in the country, while Ola is present in 102 cities.
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