CareCredit - Women's Health April 2024

Uber Allowing Commuters to Bid for Rides in India

Uber, India, ride hailing

Uber is testing a new flexible pricing service called Uber Flex in over a dozen cities in India, allowing commuters to bid a particular fare for their ride. 

This move aims to expand Uber’s consumer base in the country and put pressure on its rival ride-hailing platforms, including Ola and inDrive, TechCrunch reported Friday (Jan. 5). 

The service, which was launched last year and has since expanded to more cities, aims to offer commuters more control over the pricing, according to the report. It was initially rolled out for cabs and later expanded to auto-rickshaw rides. 

“We are piloting this feature in some of the Tier 2 and 3 markets in India currently,” an Uber spokesperson said in the report. 

Flex is also being tested in Lebanon, Kenya and Latin America, per the report. 

Unlike Uber’s standard dynamic pricing model, which fluctuates based on supply, demand and traffic, Uber Flex allows riders to bid a fare of their choice from nine pricing points, the report said. Riders can select a fare that will be shared with nearby drivers, who can then accept or reject the ride based on the offered fare. 

One of Uber’s competitors in India, inDrive, allows riders to manually input a specific fare, leading to instances where drivers feel undercompensated due to passengers offering low prices for their rides, the report said. 

Uber addresses this concern by not allowing passengers to set a specific fare manually in the flex-pricing mode and placing a cap on the lowest fare, according to the report. 

Last February, inDrive raised $150 million and said it would use the new capital to acquire and retain customers and support its continued growth. That company’s app facilitates ride-hailing, intercity transportation, cargo and freight delivery, task assistance, delivery and employment search. 

In addition to Uber Flex, Uber is testing other services in some cities in India to cater to local demand, the report said. These include Uber Taxis, which offers traditional taxi drivers as an option, and a Wait & Save model that allows riders to avoid surge pricing by pre-booking a trip at a cheaper fare when available.