Intra-city ridesharing services are now quite common in all cities and towns in India, but what still isn’t as active is a streamlined service for inter-city transport. Ola launched Ola Outstation this year, but it did not have a ride-sharing option and is usually meant for family trips or vacations.
Uber did launch inter-city services between Mumbai and Pune in 2015, but there was no option of pooling with other commuters. This is the part Goibibo is planning to take advantage of – the company is launching an inter-city ride-sharing option soon.
The webpage for the service is already live but it mentions ‘launching soon’ which means that the company has some good news in the pipeline. The statement reads, “Brace yourself as we get ready to transform the way you travel. In a matter of days, we will present to you – ?goCars?, a?n all-encompassing ride-sharing ?platform? which ?would ?enable? you to share ?your? ?city-to-city? journeys with like-minded, trusted co-travellers at affordable prices.”
What’s so unique about goCars?
Goibibo says the user experience with goCars will be something unheard of before, and much much better than its competitors. Of course, you will be able to share the journey with fellow passengers who’re travelling between the same two cities, thereby saving money and time.
The company also says that the pickup and drop points will be near to the passenger, the driver will have a good background check and verification before they enroll for the service. Since you’re travelling with other people, you’ll be paying just for your seat, and not the whole car.
GoCash can be used for availing rides on goCars, company says. However, it is still not clear whether you’ll be paying one-fourth, one-third or half the price of the full car. It is also not yet clear whether there will be some fixed points in the city where the cabs can be taken from.
It looks like a really good idea, and an untapped area right now. However, if the company wants to focus on user experience, it must ensure the drivers are properly verified, can drive for long hours without fatigue and the cars are in good shape for our Indian roads.
This new service can be exploited by frequent travellers who otherwise take buses and trains to travel between two cities. For example, the number of daily travellers between Chandigarh and Delhi, Mumbai and Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai and Gurgaon and Jaipur is quite high and this service can specifically benefit such people.
We’ll be able to analyse more as the company releases more details of the service. If priced right, this service could actually rival the existing offline inter-city taxi and buses services.