Kochi: App-based cab aggregator Uber, which has an active presence in the Indian cities, is planning to start bus service in India.
The Uber Bus was earlier started on a trial basis in countries such as Egypt, Ukraine and Mexico. After this succeeded, Uber has turned its focus on Indian cities that have a higher density of population. Uber is already conducting bus service in India as the feeder services of the Delhi and Hyderabad Metros.
Before entering the Indian cities, a corporate video of Uber in various Indian languages was posted on social media platforms two months ago.
When he visited India in 2019, Uber chief had talked about his wish to start a bus service in the country. Uber Asia Pacific chief Pradeep Parameswaran too had hinted about this.
Permit and licence had been the obstacles for the Uber Bus Service till now. However, the Union government had announced Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines in November last year as part of its new transport policy. This has provided legal backing for aggregators such as Uber to start the bus service.
Share taxi model
The Uber Bus would be an advanced model of the share taxi in which 2-3 passengers can travel together. The seat can be booked through computer application; the place and time can also be chosen. Instead of the passenger waiting for the bus, the bus would conduct service as per the passenger's timing. More number of buses would ply during the peak hours and fewer buses for the non-rush hours. Also, more buses to areas with higher demand.
A higher rate would be levied for heavy-traffic routes and lower rates for trips during non-rush hours to encourage travel. Also, the rates would be high during peak hours. Thus, the bus service would follow the model of the online taxi operations.