At a time when Ola and Uber drivers are also coming up with their own ride-hailing apps, there seems to be a new entrant into the market. A MediaNama report states that online motorbike company Baxi has signed up with taxi unions in Delhi, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru and may launch a cab aggregation service as well.
Cab drivers who are part of the taxi unions will now be able to sign up on Baxi’s partner app. Rohit Koshy of Baxi told MediaNama that the company noticed that drivers weren’t able to sustain protests against Ola and Uber for long and eventually had to get back to it. “We thought that driver’s livelihoods should not get affected during the protests and they could instead use Baxi’s app to get rides and fares,” he added.
Drivers will never be charged for using the app. Instead, passengers will be charged a nominal convenience fee to book rides using Baxi app.
Speaking of pricing, Baxi says it will charge customers Rs 9 per kilometer and one rupee per minute as waiting fee. The base fee will be Rs 50. So far, 5,000 drivers have signed up for Baxi’s service.
Unlike Ola and Uber, Koshy told MediaNama that customers can get into Baxi cabs parked on the curb side like regular metered taxis without necessarily having to pre-book the cab. But once in the cab, customers will have to give drivers their mobile phone numbers so a bill can be sent. However, this system would only work for cash transactions. One challenge here is that some customers may give a wrong number before starting a trip.
Baxi is also in the process of launching bike taxi services across Uttar Pradesh, by leveraging its relationship with Bajaj Auto and TVS Motors. Commercial bikes will soon start running in 40 towns and cities, starting with Ghaziabad and Noida.
The new competitor may pose as a challenge to Ola and Uber, which are currently fighting it out to be the market leader in India’s cab-aggregation space.