In case you are in Bengaluru and Pune and rely on cab-hailing apps for your daily commute, here's some good news. After Ola, cab-hailing firm Uber is set to introduce its auto service in the two cities later this month.
The firm will add an "auto" option on its apps in these two cities and riders will then be able to use this service.
"Auto rickshaws are ubiquitous to mobility options in many Indian cities. To expand transportation choices for our riders, we are excited to launch Auto in Bengaluru and Pune," the Press Trust of India quoted Uber's spokesperson as saying.
However, this is not the first time that Uber is getting autorickshaws on board. It had started the service in 2014 in Bengaluru and Chennai and moved on to cities like New Delhi, Indore, Bhubaneshwar and Coimbatore. However, Uber "paused," it as the firm apparently wanted to see how that side of India's transport ecosystem evolves."
"We are re-launching Auto starting with two cities", the spokesperson added.
Speaking of the plans, Uber also explained that the cab-hailing service will only strike a deal with autos that have a valid license to ply and will also screen all the auto drivers. Each driver will also be asked to submit valid ID proof and other government documents, after the verification of which they will be given access to the Uber app.
The firm not only wants to make the ride safe for passengers but is also focusing on convenience and riders will be able to pay for the ride through cash, debit and credit cards as well as their Paytm wallet.
While Uber is starting the auto service on a smaller scale right now with just two cities it has said that it could expand to other cities based on the response it receives. "Gradual geographical expansion like this is common to how we operate in cities around the world and it is something that we are looking at very closely," the firm said.
Uber's move will now raise the competition in the market as Ola Cabs has already been providing auto rides for about three years now. At present, it operates the service in 73 cities and has gained quite some popularity. With Uber entering the segment, the US firm will have to price the service competently as Ola has been providing a four-kilometre ride for Rs 29 in many cities.