Recently, Uber launched its auto service here in Karachi to capture the lower income group commuters who prefer to take rickshaws rather than paying a bit higher for the taxi services like Uber Go or Careem Go. Being a regular user of these online ride hailing services, I thought to give it a try. So, I picked my phone and booked a ride for my office to home trip.
The first thing which I noticed was the fare estimate. It was much lower than the conventional auto rickshaw rides I used to take. Just as a comparison factor, I am giving approximate numbers to give the idea. Whenever I take conventional rickshaws for this trip which is almost 16km in total, I am charged Rs. 200 to 250, whereas the fare estimate was around 120/=. This further motivated me to go for it. So, I tapped into the Uber app to complete the booking procedure.
The app found the nearest Uber Rickshaw from my requested place and provided me with the contact details, vehicle number and current location of the driver. As soon as I got the contact details, I called the driver just to get the confirmation about whether or not he is coming to me and how much time will he take to be at my requested place. This is not a requirement to call your driver and get the confirmation, but due to one of my past experiences with an unprofessional uber driver, I have made it a practice to call and get the first hand knowledge of the driver.
One more thing which came into my notice was that Uber, by that time, did not have sufficient amount of rickshaws registered with them, as I had a waiting time of about 10 mins, which was high as compared to 2 to 5 minutes waiting time of their taxi service. But it was just in its inception stage and I am quite hopeful that their workforce would increase as the time passes, just like the way they have progressed in their taxi service.
After almost 10 mins, i got a call from the driver that he has reached my pick up location. I was soon able to find him as I already got the vehicle number on the app. I got on the rickshaw and the journey began.
I was quite pleased to see that, unlike conventional rickshaw drivers, Uber auto driver was well behaved and professional. He maneuvered his path quite well, giving the idea that he is well aware of the route. It took me almost half an hour to reach my destination, despite the usual rush during those peak hours. But the thing which surprised me even more was the fare. As I mentioned earlier that normally I am charged 200-250 rupees for such trips, and the estimate was around 120 rupees, but the actual fare was 109/- which was even less than the estimated value.
So, the summary is that I took Uber Auto from my office to home trip, by booking the ride comfortably sitting in my office from my Uber app without worrying about the hustle and bustle of the traffic and fare bargain stuff, in approximately half the price I used to pay for conventional rickshaw rides.
My first experience with Uber Auto went extremely good. I really appreciate Uber’s efforts to bring ease and comfort in an economical way. Their auto service is an evidence of their efforts to solve the transport problems and bring it on your finger tips, especially for those who are a bit tight on budget.
What is your take on that? Share your experience or suggestions in the comments section below.