A sharp decline in daily commute and rise in demand for inter-city cabs is attracting Ola and Uber drivers, as many have start listing their vehicles on online travel aggregators (OTAs) such as Goibibo, MakeMyTrip, Savaari Cabs, and Meru.
A majority of these drivers are fleet owners who have attached multiple cars with cab-hailing platforms, including Ola and Uber, reports Salman H in Mint.
However, as most corporates and offices have slowly moved to a work-from-home set-up, the demand for daily commute has dropped sharply in many metro cities.
With most consumers also choosing to use their own vehicles to travel, income from daily rides on Ola and Uber has fallen by at least 50% in the past three months.
Industry executives also point that Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai have at least 100 daily inter-city rides originating via online platforms, which have presented an opportunity for drivers.
Drivers and fleet owners of Ola and Uber have been attaching their cabs with them in recent weeks, said executives of Meru Cabs, Savaari Cabs, and MakeMyTrip.
Demand for inter-city rides spiked in June, but started falling again towards the end of July, said Neeraj Gupta, chief executive officer of Meru Cabs.
Some of the most common inter-city routes include New Delhi-Kanpur, Mumbai-Pune, Bengaluru-Hyderabad, Bengaluru-Chennai, and New Delhi-Agra.
“We get around 3,000 requests every day from top metro cities for inter-city rides, out of which we service some 1,000 rides a day. We have also acquired 5,000 additional cabs and drivers in the last two months to meet the demand from inter-city customers,” said Gupta.
Ashok Kumar, who operates a fleet of 10 vehicles under his travel and tourism company in Bengaluru, told Mint that he pulled out all the vehicles from Ola and Uber after the lockdown in April.
A driver might have to undertake at least 10 inter-city trips every month to get a favorable income of Rs 35,000 to INR 40,000 a month.
“All the inter-city rides we get from online travel firms such as Goibibo and others are one-way rides and very rarely do we get a paid return trip. Also with the current petrol and diesel costs, we have to pay INR 4,000 to INR 5,000 for an average long trip of 400-500 km one-way. We end up making a profit of only INR 2,000 to INR 3,000,” Kumar said.
(Source: Live Mint)