2016 has been a very competitive year for Uber as it tried to compete with Indian major Olacabs. The price wars were very ruthless on both the companies but the customers enjoyed it very dearly. However, these discounts are not going to last very long, as the funds dry.
Uber has already lost $1.3 billion in H1 2016 and the company is on track to announce $3 billion soon. This means there is bad news for the customers and an Uber spokesperson has told that all Uber rides will now see an increased fare of upto 15%. The basic tariff has also been increased from Rs. 40 to Rs. 60.
The ride-time price has been increased from Re. 1 to Rs. 1.5 per minute, which is a sharp 50% increase. This hike applies to all the available options – uberPOOL, uberGO, uberX and the newly launched uberXL. The fares are also going up by 15% in coming months, so be prepared to pay Rs. 7 per km on uberGO soon.
If you remember, Uber had increased the tariffs for rides in October, for rides longer than 20 kms. The increased prices are sure to make your rides costlier, and not at all affordable for daily commuters, despite the irregular concessions.
The commuters, however, have already taken this up on social media platforms and announced their discontent with the move by Uber, that enjoys a strong supremacy today. It was primarily the affordability that attracted so many customers on this platform, over Ola.
An Uber spokesperson has told PTI, “Starting January 5, 2017, we have made some changes to our pricing structure in Delhi, NCR in order to serve the city better.” This was also expected from the company because Uber’s CEO has time and again talked about the funds dropping and the company moving to generate profits.
Just like every other business, Uber also has to generate profits for it to sustain and such low prices in Delhi-NCR, and soon other cities, is not going to make the situation better as Uber expands quickly in India. Right now, Rs. 0.5 hike doesn’t seem very high, but you’ll cringe a bit when you see the fare slightly higher on the app.
What alternatives do you have?
Olacabs hasn’t introduced such changes yet, but looking at Uber’s strategy, the company might do the same soon. The prices for the cheapest Ola Micro still start at Rs. 6 per km and Re. 1 per min of the ride. Ola also keeps having a few offers now and then, so it seems to be an attractive option right now.
Haryana also gets uberMOTO which is extremely convenient and cheap for smaller rides in Gurgaon and can be helpful when you’re alone. Other than this, the only option you’re left with is the Delhi Metro which is fast and doesn’t cost you much either.
The price increase is bound to drift a few Uber customers away, but pretty much everyone in the city will come to terms with it soon. Such price hikes will be coming more frequently now and you have to deal with the fact that cab hailing won’t be very cheap anymore.