In surprise move, Uber shuts down UberAuto in Coimbatore, Indore

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Bengaluru | Published: March 15, 2017 4:56:10 AM

The company did not give any reason for the sudden discontinuation. Instead, it advised customers to migrate to UberGO, its cab service

Uber had introduced its autorickshaw hailing service in Coimbatore in April 2016 and Indore in May 2016 with a base fare of Rs 15. (Reuters)

Cab aggregator Uber has shut down its autorickshaw hailing service UberAUTO in Coimbatore and Indore. The company did not give any reason for the sudden discontinuation of the auto service. “We are discontinuing the UberAUTO vehicle view in Coimbatore. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause to you,” Uber said in a blog post. Instead, the company has advised customers to migrate to UberGO, a cab service.

Uber had introduced its autorickshaw hailing service in Coimbatore in April 2016 and Indore in May 2016 with a base fare of Rs 15. It revised the base fare to Rs 25 in Coimbatore from November onwards. Uber also charged customers Rs 6 per kilometre from the earlier Rs 3 per kilometre.

When contacted, Uber spokesperson told FE: “At Uber, we continuously experiment with products to ensure that we can provide the most efficient, affordable and convenient ride to everyone, everywhere. UberAUTO was a really good experience for us, our driver partners and riders, but we are pausing it for now while we see how that side of India’s transport ecosystem evolves.”

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However, Uber declined to divulge further details. As an introductory offer in Coimbatore, Uber gave up to a max limit of Rs 40 per ride.

Meanwhile, Uber’s Indian rival in autorickshaw aggregation Jugnoo says it will look to cash in on the opportunity created out of Uber’s exit in the space. Jugnoo said the demand for its services doubled in Coimbatore over the last one week. Soon after Uber suspended its auto rickshaw services in the city, Jugnoo has witnessed around 25% jump in the number of auto drivers coming on its platform. It currently has 500 active drivers on its platform, up from 400 a week ago, Chinmay Agarwal, co-founder and COO of Jugnoo, told FE.

“Our business model has always been focused on setting standardised pricing and incentivising the drivers and therefore, we have been successful in becoming a trusted player in the category,” Agarwal claimed.

Jugnoo charges 10% commission against 20% charged by Uber from auto-rickshaw drivers. He said the company is gearing up to launch food delivery service in Coimbatore and auto-rickshaw service in Bengaluru in the coming quarter.

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