With the sole focus of one-upping its local ride-hailing rival Ola, American giant Uber is turning to the million of Indians who commute by train. The company has approached Indian Railways with a stacked proposal for not only integrating its service within the IRCTC app plus website but also an exquisite plan for ferrying travelers to and from the station, reports ETTech.
You’d be surprised to know that Uber is aggressively pursuing this proposal to push more users to join and use its affordable taxi services in the country. The company in addition to upgrading its tech, travel experience and partner drivers with extensive car leasing programs is now taking this alternative route.
The American ride-hailing giant has applied for setting up cab booking kiosks, dedicated pick up and drop points at major stations to assist passengers in booking and traveling in an Uber. In addition to the integration of its cab services within IRCTC, the company has also extended a helping hand to provide technological aid to the Indian Railways to upgrade its app.
This partnership, if it goes through, will be a win-win situation for both Uber and Indian Railways. And how’s that possible?
Well, the addition of millions of new inter-city travelers will be extremely helpful in the rapid expansion of Uber’s user base. This deal will, however, also help the Railway boost its revenues. Once approved, this partnership would require Uber to lease premium space on stations and pay a commission for each ride booked to the Indian Railways. This could be a major revenue source for the railways who can rake in about Rs. 150 crore annually.
We are seriously considering this proposal and a decision could be taken soon. The revenue model with Uber is yet to be finalised,
says a top-level railway board official.
The details of the partnership agreement are a bit scanty but sources suggest that Uber would certainly target railway station in metro cities before moving to Tier-II ones. There is currently also no word on the number of stations that’ll be covered under this deal.
Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick has been aggressively pushing more capital into the India operations ever since its exit from China a couple months ago. The $63 billion giant is looking to make India, which accounts for a 12 percent global share, its landmark market in the coming months. It is thoroughly focused on widening the rift and eliminate the competition with any means possible.