Industry

Uber brings kaali-peeli taxis back to Mumbai

The emergence of ride-sharing in India has angered taxi drivers, leading a number of unions to go on strike in protest over the loss of income.

Uber India is restarting its trial with kaali-peeli (black-and-yellow) cabs in Mumbai. The firm had begun a test project in the city but was obliged to cut it back due to the coronavirus outbreak. This time, it has 5,000 registered local taxi drivers, but only around a fifth of them are active on the platform, according to Business Standard.

The decision to continue the trial comes as Uber seeks to bring in city taxi services as part of a bigger strategy to transform foes into friends by allowing conventional cab drivers to supplement their income by using the Uber app and earning money during off-peak hours.

According to industry estimates, there are around 30,000 kaali-peeli taxis in Mumbai. According to the magazine, the company’s objective is to get more of these drivers to utilize the platform.

It already offers package delivery, intra-city public transportation, inter-city public transportation, and rentals.

Taxi drivers in India have been dissatisfied with the rise of ride-sharing services, and numerous unions have gone on strike in recent years to protest the loss of income. Protests against ride-sharing companies have occurred in a number of cities throughout the world, including London, Paris, and Rome.

Uber now has 5K classic (black and yellow) cabs registered, but only one-fifth of them are operating on its platform. While automobiles, scooters, and taxis are widely available in Mumbai, the city’s showpiece has hit a snag due to higher fare rates in tandem with fuel price increases.

Previously, Uber spent extensively to establish itself in the Indian car-hailing sector. It was spending a lot of money on marketing and improving the customer experience. Simultaneously, it was devoting similar attention to drivers by giving generous commissions. After gaining a foothold in the Indian market, Uber decreased commissions while increasing cab prices for the general public.

Under this trial scheme, kaali peeli cab drivers who have registered with Uber will continue to use government-approved local tariff rate cards. Meanwhile, such drivers can supplement their income using the Uber app, albeit the pricing will vary.

Aside from cab booking, Uber currently provides a variety of services to consumers in India, ranging from package delivery to inter-city transportation.

Uber began this trial in 2017 but scaled it back when the pandemic reached the country, but Ola included kaali peeli cabs on its app much earlier.

Uber is also exploring similar agreements on a worldwide scale. It recently stated that all yellow cabs in New York will be included on its app. The cab aggregator collaborated with two taxi firms – Curb and CMT – to allow users to book cabs using the Uber app. Similar collaborations have been formed by the cab aggregator in South Korea, Spain, Germany, and a few Japanese towns.

Published by
Business Outreach