Uber resumes carpooling services in Bengaluru with 'Commute,' expects to launch in other cities

In Bengaluru, the commute service starts as low as Rs 20, and Uber has a waitlist of close to 2000 people, as of Monday, in the city.
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Ride-hailing platform Uber recently resumed its carpooling service 'Uber Commute’ in Bengaluru after four years to offer better public transport amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The company had to discontinue its carpooling service due to regulatory issues in the city.

Announcing the launch in a blog post, Uber said, "At Uber, we want to reduce traffic at the same time as reducing the cost of your commute. Commute matches pairs of neighbours and co-workers travelling similar routes, so you can save time, money, and the environment – all at the same time."

Uber Commute allows commuters to share their ride with neighbours and colleagues on a similar route while getting reimbursed for their costs.

In Bengaluru, the commute service starts as low as Rs 20, and the ride-hailing company has a waitlist of close to 2000 people, as of Monday, in the city.

While it charted out the details of the service in its blog post earlier this month, it did not clarify much on its city-wise launch timeline.

While not operational in Delhi yet, the app still shows the Commute option for the region, asking its users to 'join the waitlist' programme to see the number of takers for its service.

How does it work?

According to the blog post, all the details for the morning commute should be submitted by 9 pm the previous night. For example, if somebody wants to book a commute ride for 9 am on Tuesday, they have to submit the request for the same on Monday night by 9 pm.

Similarly, for an evening commute, all the details should be submitted before 3 pm the same day.

"Matching will take place at these times, and be immediately communicated. This makes sure you and your commuting partner have advanced details on your Commute match so they can prepare for your journey," read the blog.

The company is also providing its users with the opportunity to switch between riding and driving. It said, "As long as you’ve registered your car details in the app, you can switch depending on your commuting needs. Every time you submit your commute details you’ll have the option to ride or drive.

People who wish to opt for driving can submit a valid driving licence and profile photo, as well as complete Uber's standard background verification. Moreover, the car needs to have a valid non-commercial registration certificate, valid third party insurance cover, and any other documents that the government mandates to ensure its road-worthiness.

In terms of payment, the ride-hailing platform said that all the payment will be made through digital means and that riders can pay through any of the digital payment methods available in the Uber app.

Clarifying how the service will check out during the COVID-19 pandemic, Uber said, "Before every trip, riders will confirm that all the precautions such as wearing a face mask and washing or sanitising of hands are taken by all of those inside the car, and commuters can cancel trips if they don't feel safe."

At present, Uber is allowing only two people in the car and is discouraging its users to sit on the front seat. "To enforce social distancing due to the COVID-19, there should be a maximum of two people in a car," it said.

Edited by Suman Singh

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