Meru Cabs has restructured its product categories and is now offering Sedan, Hatchback & SUV as separate categories. The new categories are currently live in Mumbai, and will be made available in other cities over the next few months.
The new categories will charge Rs 9/km for hatchbacks, Rs 10/km for sedans and Rs 15/km for SUVs. The company will not charge any surge pricing. As of now, it claims to have 2000 cabs live in Mumbai in the new categories.
Prior to this, Meru charges users Rs 27 for the 1st km and Rs 20/km for each subsequent kilometer in the day, and Rs 25/ km + Rs 22.75 for the first kilometer in the night for radio taxi licenses taxis. For cabs under the all India tourist permits or state permits, the company charged Rs 99 for the first 4 kilometers and Rs 20 per subsequent kilometer. It’s not clear if the company will retail this model alongside the new categories, or get rid of them entirely.
Meru’s new pricing is more in line with how its competitors like Uber and Ola charge, and both seem to price on par with Meru. Ola and Uber both charge about Rs 40 as base fare, in addition to Rs 6 per km and Rs 1 per minute of ridetime, for their most basic offering. This could be more expensive that the flat rate Meru charges depending on the traffic conditions, but on empty roads should be cheaper over moderate distances.
It’s worth noting that Meru launched ride sharing features earlier this month, starting with Delhi, after having partnered exclusively with Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL), to promote carpooling, a month before. The company had earlier raised $50 million (about Rs 300 crore) from existing investor for funding this expansion.