Meru Slashes Fares by 25% in Delhi
New Delhi: Taxi operator Meru Cabs has slashed its fares by 25% in Delhi, coming out in criticism of the surge pricing policy of rivals Uber and Ola, especially during the experimental phase when odd and even numbered cars are plying only on alternate days.
The new rates will be effective in Delhi from Friday till mid-May and will be rolled out to other cities in due course. The reduced rates may be extended further depending on the response. “We have seen a 35% increase in bookings during the current oddeven phase. We want to make the service more attractive to more users and hence have brought down rates,” Siddhartha Pahwa, CEO, Meru Cabs said. “We do not see any losses due to this as the lower rates are compensated by a surge in bookings.” Rides on a Meru sedan will be down to .₹ 17.25 per km (.`23 earlier) and for small cabs to .₹ 11.25 per km (.`15 per km earlier.) This brings the rates close to those offered by cab aggregators Ola and Uber.
Pahwa also argued that surge pricing is not yet suited for the Indian market. “Ideally, in a free market economy surge pricing should be ok. But In India the supply (of cabs) is far lower than demand. It is a kind of monopolistic situation as users have no visibility on number of cabs, while the operators knows how many users are there,” he said.