Global cab hailing major Uber is famous for its experiments. With India being the next hotbed for the SoftBank-backed company after the US, it is now looking to introduce one of the cheapest cab services, ‘Express Pool’ in India.
Currently, the company is testing the service in India and it will soon launch the full-fledged facility. This is a much-needed move, as one of the largest markets for pool service, India receives more than 25 per cent trips across all the major cities from the ride-sharing feature.
In an interview with BusinessLine, Prabhjeet Singh, Regional General Manager, Uber India & South Asia, said the company is piloting the feature in India as a part of expanding its lowest cost offerings.
He also revealed that the company is operating in more than 31 cities across India. It will expand in the area whenever it gets feedback from customers to improve a particular service. The company has already intended to deploy more investments in the country.
How Is Express Pool different from Uber Pool?
This is the first question comes to mind when we think about the new service. In fact, Express Pool is just a more efficient variant, as riders walk to a spot along a common route, rather than drivers arriving at doorsteps.
When it comes to consumers’ pocket, fares of Express Pool are as much as 50 per cent cheaper than Uber Pool ride, and up to 75 per cent compared to UberX fares.
Basically, it is like a shuttle service offered by many companies but only limited to 3-4 persons. Pool service via bus has been offered by many startups including ZipGo, and Shuttl for daily office commute. Ola too had operated tried to explore the verticle but following a tepid demand, it had shut its shuttle operations in February this year.
How will Ola respond to Express Pool?
In cost effective rides, Ola is competing with Uber in all segments, be it pool service, bike or auto on demand. Both companies have been replicating each other’s strategy in India to gain an upper hand.
The SoftBank-backed company is also offering the service under ‘Share Express‘ name. The offering is reportedly available in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, amongst other cities. The company, however, clarified that Express is available only on specific routes in the city and during certain hours of the day (depending on the demand on those routes).
To fight with traffic congestion and offer low-cost rides, Ola is reportedly partnering with Bajaj Auto to introduce quadricycles into their fleets in the coming months.
Update: We have updated the post with detail information on Ola ‘Share Express’ feature.