Nation Other News 07 Feb 2017 Carpooling makes wav ...

Carpooling makes waves in Kochi

Published Feb 7, 2017, 1:33 am IST
Updated Feb 7, 2017, 6:52 am IST
Software employees and college students are the two groups mostly availing the service.
 Software employees and college students are the two groups mostly availing the service.

Kochi: After rolling out ‘Micro cabs’, app-based taxi aggregators are focusing on riding the carpooling wave fast catching up with Kochiites.  And it is posing a new threat to traditional taxi and autorickshaw drivers. While Ola’s share taxi scheme launched in October last has turned out to be a major success, its rival Uber too is expected to launch ‘UberPOOL’ in the state’s commercial capital soon after its success in six other major cities across the country.

“We have plans but cannot reveal the exact launch time due to business reasons. UberPOOL is currently available in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai,” said an Uber spokesman. “We currently operate Ola Share in 15 cities/ towns and the response here was heartening. Software employees and college students are the two groups which mostly use the service. Here the rider need not worry about finding share partners. The app will facilitate it. Four persons mostly share a taxi under the scheme,” an Ola official said.

What made the carpooling services popular was the affordability factor, as low as Rs three per km. “Earlier I had to pay Rs 130 through the app-based hiring service to travel from Infopark to Edapally. Now the share scheme allows me to travel the same distance for Rs 89,” said Anil S, a techie. Meanwhile, with online taxis increasingly eating into potential revenue share, the traditional autorickshaw drivers are gearing up to launch an app-based hiring service in a bid to cope with the changing trend.

 The Vytilla Taxi Drivers Welfare Society, which is operating the CPM-backed ‘Kerala Taxi’ (online app-based taxi hiring service),   has taken the lead to help traditional autorickshaw drivers take advantage of the technology.  “The share scheme is very much a threat to us in certain routes like Infopark. We are taking measures to help traditional drivers. We are creating an online app for hiring autorickshaws. “Only traditional auto drivers will be included in the group. Also a campaign is planned where ads of Kerala Taxi, will be reached to the maximum number of people through social media,” said D Manikuttan, Secretary, Vytilla Car Drivers Welfare Society.

Location: India, Kerala


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