The largest cab-hailing company in the world, Uber, is taking some key steps to strengthen its hold in India. While this service is not available anywhere in this world right now, Uber has started to pilot uberHIRE in a few cities of India.
This new service from Uber will allow users to hire a cab for 12 hours within these cities for any purpose that requires more than an hour or so. Pune, Mumbai, Kochi, Vizag and Chennai have been picked up initially for starting the operations.
This service is quite similar to Ola Rentals, where you can book a cab on hourly packages. To take on Ola, Uber has kept the prices quite low and very attractive for people in these cities. These prices will be inclusive of taxes as well.
The company’s blog reads, “UberHIRE is a new kind of time-based Uber that’s available on-demand, to let you explore and travel around cities knowing that your Uber will wait for you. It’s perfect for travelers exploring a new city, senior citizens who need to make trips punctuated with multiple stop overs, or for business travelers who have multiple meetings – while ensuring it is an economical option for everyone.”
The coverage area for these services will be all the options – uberGO, uberX, and uberXL, whichever are available in a particular city. You can book these vehicles for up to 12 hours maximum, but the start and end times will vary.
What are the charges like?
The minimum fee, hourly fee and distance-wise fee vary from city to city. In Mumbai, the minimum fare is Rs. 600, which includes 1.5 hours or 30 km whichever is less. Upwards of this, the fare will be Rs. 360 basic, Rs. 2 per minute and Rs. 12 per km(over and above 30 km). You can book this between 6AM and 10PM in Mumbai.
The same service in Pune will set you back by Rs. 550 minimum, for maximum 30 km or 1.5 hours. The charge per km with be Rs. 12 and Rs. 2 per min. You can book this between 6AM and 10PM.
Vizag has the cheapest rates yet, with a Rs. 500 minimum fare for 1.5 hours or 30 km. The base fare has been capped as Rs. 260, per km charge of Rs. 12 and per minute charge of Rs. 2. This service will be available between 4AM and 8PM.
Kochi prices are similar to Vizag’s, while Chennai prices are similar to Pune’s. The service has not been introduced in the capital of the city yet, or other large cities like Bengaluru and Kolkata.
This service doesn’t not work on debit cards, credit cards or Paytm yet, so you will have to pay an upfront fees (whatever the minimum charge in the city is). You don’t have to pay extra for the fuel, but you will have to pay for toll charges in cash to your driver.
How to book this service?
Booking an UberHIRE is as simple as booking any other cab on Uber. Fire up your app, you will be able to see a new category on the app if you’re in one of these cities. Slide your pointer to this option and request a cab. If you are using the new Uber app, push the UberHIRE card which appears at the bottom of the screen, set your pickup location and request your ride.
You will get information of your vehicle booked, driver’s name and location instantly. You are free to take an UberHIRE trip without entering the destination. Incase of multiple destinations, you may communicate the same to the driver-partner.
The company will provide you sedans like Maruti Swift Dzire, Toyota Etios or bigger vehicles like Maruti Ertiga and Toyota Innova. Upon completion of your trip, you will get an electronic receipt just like your do for your usual rides.
Typically, you can take this cab around the city, from one corner to another without crossing the state borders(unless it’s Delhi-NCR). However, Uber is trying to expand it so that you can go on a little outing or picnic across the state as well.
The company is still piloting this service in a few cities, so it might be able to take on Ola Rentals so easily, that has been here for quite some time now. Moreover, there is no option of Paytm or cards yet, which can cause a little inconvenience to the riders. However, for business meetings, shopping, and even casual outings it seems like a great deal!