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Drive a bargain in Kolkata on new cab app with Russian connection

InDriver, all set to enter the market in March, is now doing a soft launch with trial rides in the city

Anasuya Basu | Published 02.03.22, 09:48 AM
Representational image.

Representational image.


A new ride-hailing app will let you haggle over fares.

InDriver, an international ride-hailing service that is set to come to the city next month, allows the rider to suggest a fare for his or her trip.

Once the rider enters the destination, the app suggests a fare. The rider can then suggest an alternative fare, which drivers willing to accept the ride can negotiate.

Once the fare is settled directly between the drivers and the rider, details of the drivers and the cars are sent to the rider, including their ratings, approximate time of pick-up and the make of the cars. The rider then chooses from among them.

All transactions are paid directly to the driver.

InDriver, all set to enter the Kolkata market in March, is now doing a soft launch with trial rides in the city.

A ride from Ballygunge Phari to Park Street showed a fare of Rs 90 at 1.30pm on a Tuesday. After offers and counter-offers, the fare was fixed at Rs 70 on a Maruti Swift with a four-star rated driver.

At the same time, Uber was offering a fare of Rs 108 for the same destination and Ola Rs 117.

On a Wednesday afternoon, a ride from Ballygunge Phari to Chandni Chowk on InDriver was fixed at Rs 120 after a brief bargain. Ola and Uber both showed a fare of Rs 190.

InDriver now operates in Chandigarh, Lucknow and Hyderabad, apart from 600 cities across 39 countries.

Launched in Yakutsk, in eastern Siberia in 2012, it started as a ride-sharing group on social media.

“It was a cold wintry day in Yakutsk with -45 degree temperature when cabbies started hiking fares arbitrarily. The students in the city got together and created their own ride-hailing group on the Russian social network known as VK. They named the group Independent Drivers (indrivers). Members of the group would publish their routes and how much they were willing to pay. Drivers would contact them and complete their requests. Six months on, the group had 60,000 members. One year after its creation, the group transitioned to the Sinet company that created a high-tech peer-to-peer transportation service based on the group’s model,” said a company spokesperson.

InDriver will offer inter- and intra-city rides in Kolkata. The company is also into freight and courier services.

On InDriver, the drivers are paid in cash or the rider may make a direct digital payment to the driver.

Asked about commission, the spokesperson said: “Right now, we are not taking any commission and it will remain this way for the first couple of months of operation. Later, we can charge a commission ranging from 10 to 15 per cent.”

Last updated on 05.03.22, 08:18 AM

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