After offering service line cab-hailing, bike taxi services, and car-pooling services in the country, Uber is now gearing up to foray into another segment of the market. This time, the company wants to launch ride-hailing service for bus and mini-vans, under the moniker of ‘Uber Everything’.
The pooled ride-sharing service for buses and mini-vans will initially start as a pilot. The entire service will be overseen by Uber’s India technical centre in Bangalore.
As per a person aware of this development, the bus service is part of Uber’s global initiative, also called Uber Everything, which aims to offer rides on anything that ferries people from Point A to Point B.
The company has experimented with such bus related service in the past. It has piloted a service named UberHop, which allows users to hop on a bus with designated pick-up and drop-off points for a flat fee. However, the service is piloted in select regions only.
Like its other ride-sharing services in India, the move is likely to pose a challenge for local administrations that currently regulate both private and state-owned bus services that offer rides within cities.
Earlier, the company had faced a lot of issues with Karnataka Government when its piloted its ride-hailing service for bikes — UberMoto. The government termed the service as illegal and asked users not to use such service. Later on, the company decided to shut down the service in that particular state.
For Uber, India is the most important market in the world, after US. And since the company exited the China market after merging its business with Didi Chuxing Technology Co., it is geared to do anything it takes to win the Indian market.
After selling its China unit, Uber has decided to divert the $1 billion fund which it had planned for China operation, to India. Also, the company is planning to increase the team at its Bengaluru engineering centre to 50 from 15 by the end of the year.
While Uber continues to subsidize ride it offers to commuters in India, the company’s major focus is on customization of product offerings and technologies in the country. Recently, the company announced its new web service, using which, users can call a cab from the website itself, without the need of a mobile app.