Uber ties up with kaali-peeli cabs: To offer rides from doorstep at RTO-approved rates

Uber ties up with kaali-peeli cabs: To offer rides from doorstep at RTO-approved rates
Like any other Uber cab, commuters will have to book the cab via the app and the kaali-peeli will pick them up from their doorstep (Representational Image)

In a bid to penetrate further into the city’s massive ride-hailing market, cab-aggregator Uber will now allow users to book conventional black and yellow cabs or kaali-peelis from its app.

The US firm has, for the first time, tied up with kaali-peeli drivers in South Mumbai, allowing them to join its online app platform and offer rides at the same RTO-approved fares.

Currently, the aggregator has on-boarded cabs primarily from Colaba to Worli areas.

“We are still building a network of kaali-peeli taxi operators as the service has just begun and we want more cabbies in the city to join our platform. In coming weeks, we will be able to put maximum taxis on the platform so that commuters can get affordable non-AC rides on demand,” an official from the ride-hailing firm told The Times of India.

The partnership will allow Uber to fill the demand-supply gap during summer, which usually sees a rise in demand and therefore, inadvertently, leads to surge pricing.

Further, commuters will also end up saving money by opting for kaali-peeli cabs, which by rule have to ply by meter and at government approved fares. It also means no surge pricing on such cabs.

According to one official, a ride from Fort to Worli will end up costing approximately Rs 120 for a kaali-peeli in comparison to the Rs 140 and Rs 180 for an Uber Go or Uber Premier cab respectively.

With the tie-up, Uber plans to address two major problems which commuters face while opting for conventional cabs – refusals and convenience.

Moreover, like any other Uber cab, commuters will have to book the cab via the app and the kaali-peeli will pick them up from their doorstep.

Based on the initial response, the service may be extended to other parts of the city. Meanwhile, Uber’s biggest rival in India, Ola, has already entered into a similar partnership with traditional cab drivers.

The flexibility of simultaneously working with both platforms is expected to augment the revenue of cab drivers, who have been complaining about a dip in earnings since the aggregators forayed into the Indian market.

“Mumbai’s kaali-peelis are a critical component for the city’s mobility needs. Ride-sharing technologies like Uber can help bring thousands of Kaali Peeli drivers into the digital fold and improve their service delivery/efficiency and augment their earnings potential,” the company’s spokesperson told the daily.

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