Online cab aggregator Uber is expanding its carpooling service uberPOOL to 3 cities more cities – Chandigarh, Jaipur and Ahmedabad – taking its presence to 12 cities in the country. The service goes live today and tomorrow in these cities.
uberPOOL was launched in September 2015, in India. In its existing cities, Uber states that 30% of rides in Mumbai are on uberPOOL, 28% in Delhi, 29% in Hyderabad, 25% in Bangalore, 18% in Chennai and Pune and 15% in Kolkata.
The uberPOOL option connects the rider real-time with 1-2 passengers heading in the same direction, and up to two rider can board the sharing taxi. Riders can choose to pay via cash, PayTM, credit or even a debit card.
India’s taxi-hailing market is dominated by Uber and Ola. Both the leading cab hailing player are capturing ride-sharing market in the country. According to a Livemint report, Uber is lobbying the government to ease regulations to allow the firm to introduce ride sharing using private cars in India.
Both the rivals launched the service at the same time (UberPOOL in September 2015, and Ola Share in October 2015). However, Uber’s rival Ola is ahead in terms of ride-sharing presence, as the home-grown player’s Ola Share is present in 26 cities. Ola Share claims to have registered 500% growth in last one year, as on June, 2017.
However, the player have not seen smooth ride in the space, due to a few issues with state governments. MediaNama also recently wrote about how ridesharing services, such as Ola Share and UberPOOL, work. While these rides might be cheaper for passengers, and do help save fuel and reduce potential carbon emissions, what’s very clear are two things: both companies tend to make substantially higher income (post driver payments and taxes) from shared rides, and the benefits of shared rides do not get transferred to the driver partners, who – the companies claim, are not employees with a guaranteed monthly income. Many drivers, especially those who have bought cabs on loans, are struggling to make ends meet. Read more on this, here.
Competition: While these two dominate the market, players like BlaBla car, Letsride, Orahi, Shuttl offers ride-sharing options in India.