In the latest showdown between Uber and Ola, the latter has announced the launch of its own bike taxi pilot in Bangalore, hours after Uber announced the same. And quite fittingly, India’s Silicon Valley has become the War Zone in the battle for supremacy in local transportation segment.
The service will be available on the Ola app across the city and will be priced at ₹2 per km and ₹1 per minute on an introductory basis. The minimum fare will be ₹30. There is however, not much to differentiate between the two in terms of pricing. Uber is charging a minimum of ₹15, with a base fare of ₹15 and then₹3 per kilometer or ₹1 per minute.
Similar to Uber’s safety checks and features, Ola too is offering via its app, driver details, SOS, live tracking and payment via Ola Money among others. The service will provide pillion riders with a helmet.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Anand Subramanian, director of marketing communication at Ola talked about how these services will operate on scale, considering the margins are very low. He further says,
A primary painpoint in India is congestion,Bikes are a very popular mode of personal transportation, there are millions on the road in India, and they are a faster way to go from point A to B.
In fact, he further outlined how the newly formed “Global Taxi Alliance” helped Ola in planning and implementing the service. The company took advise from Thailand’s Grabtaxi, which has been operating a similar service for over an year now.
As for riders in this Ola service, the company is targeting at providing riders with a 3-5 minutes pick up time. The only point where Ola could potentially hold an advantage, is the fact that riders who own motorbikes and scooters can also become drivers on the Ola platform and reimburse the costs of their trip. In the case of Uber though, the company is charging a 20% commission on each ride.