by Aakriti Shrivastava

Online cab aggregator Uber has expanded ride packages feature to Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Pune, in a bid to make cab rides affordable. This takes the feature to a total of seven cities, as it was already available in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata since June 2017.  It allows users to purchase a flat price pass with a validity of 28 days to avail rides at a set cost.

However, media reports state that additional wait time charges and surge pricing may be applicable on such rides. Uber may charge wait time charges in addition to the flat fare amount. The feature is not available to all users across these cities.

The feature can be availed on UberGO and UberPREMIER rides at separate price points—Rs 129, Rs 159, Rs 199—in these cities.

Uber’s competitor in India, Ola Cabs, is also has a similar pass feature in Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and Mumbai. It provides discounted flat prices for rides, without any surge price.

A relatively smaller, bootstrapped start-up Wagon Cabs, based in Delhi, is operating exclusively on the flat rate model, in a bid to capture some of the growing demand for cab commute.

Expanding services

The “Pass” feature is the latest one in the list of features and services that Uber and Ola have continually offered their customers. Ola has the “Select” feature for frequent users, available for Rs 499 a month, giving access to additional services like no-cost upgrades, discounts, free WiFi, priority support, airport lounge access, and top drivers and cars, among others.

The two cab aggregators also offer their versions of rental services, UberHire and Ola Rental, putting taxis for hire for longer journeys on an hourly basis.

Uber recently launched on-demand food delivery service, UberEats, which is available in select cities, partnering with restaurants and delivery partners. Meanwhile, Ola acquired FoodPanda in December 2017, from its Germany-based parent Delivery Hero Group, in what can be called its second attempt at food delivery. Ola earlier debuted OlaCafe in March 2015 but shut the service within a year.

This puts it in competition with others in this sector, Zomato, and Swiggy.