Uber, the SF-based super-premium car aggregator, recently launched in India, with their first Indian outpost being Bangalore. They’ve been testing their service since the past month or so, and now rolled out in the city. At the heart of the Uber experience is your smartphone, which you can flick out, and order for a car in the neighborhood using the Uber app (available for iPhones and Android), and the car will turn up at your door within a few minutes.
In Bangalore, they’ve started with the Original Uber, which means a Mercedes E220 or an Audi A6 or another similar car. The pricing during the test phase was a base fare of Rs. 150 and Rs. 20 per kilometer, which has now been changed to Rs. 80 base fare and Rs. 18 respectively. There is also a charge of Rs. 2 per minute of drive time, however this does not add significantly to the bill if you are thinking short distances. You don’t pay cash, because you need to mandatorily have your credit card on file with Uber who will charge you directly from your credit card. No hassle of change of notes as well!
Now, the beauty about Uber is not just the luxury cars, but the training imparted by the company to make the car travel an experience that stands out. Chauffeurs get to rate the passengers as well, to define the passengers’ acceptability as well to others in the ecosystem who would want to respond to that passengers call for a cab the next time. Also, from a recent Mint article,
Ramesh rattled off the training the cabbies had received from Uber: shave every alternate day (at least); be polite; drive slowly; open the door for the fare; if you are dropping a lone woman late at night wait till she is safely home, walking her to the door if necessary (if she demurs, walk 10 steps behind her)…
To celebrate their launch and get people to experience Uber’s services, they are also out offering the Uber launch promocode, which is BLRLaunch, and on applying this code, you get Rs. 250 credit in your Uber account which you can use against your next trip. Additionally, if you want more credits, you could always use my signup link, where you and me both will get $10 worth of credit each on your first ride with Uber. Don’t worry, the $ are automatically converted to Indian Rs. while settling the transactions.
Amongst other places, Uber is expecting to launch in Delhi, and Hyderabad maybe as well. Pity they are not looking at Mumbai for the moment, because if they did, I could move my business from OlaCabs to them, where I’ve had some pretty ruining experiences as well due to untrained drivers.
Hello Uber, welcome to India!