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Counter Arguments On Uber Economics: What About The Cost of Owning a Car, And Other Deeply Insightful Questions

In my last post on Uber, I spoke of Economics and we’ve had some extremely good arguments countering some of the economics. I’m always malleable, so if there’s a solid argument stating a case against me, I’m always open to change.

Uber, Economics, Cab, Startup, Funding

1. What About The Cost of Owning A Car?

I spoke of the price per kilomoter for taking an Uber versus taking your own car, and Uber’s costs came to 13Km + per kilometer. Using your own car, I said, uses up about Rs. 6 per kilometer – and if you added the rest up, you’d still pay less than an Uber. (About Rs. 0.5 per km as insurance, Rs. 1 per km as maintenance and so on).

But there’s a larger cost: the cost of the car itself. Which according to many people will be a whopping Rs. 10 per kilometer, if you assume a cost of Rs. 5 lakh over 50,000 kilometers over 5 years. I don’t agree with this for many reasons.

First, I’m not selling my car. It’s not possible because:

a) you can’t depend on a Uber or Ola. They take time, they can’t find your place, and if you need to move urgently, you’re not going to find one. Plus, when their incentives diminish, you will find they crib just like autos about not coming to some place or the others.

b) it’s terrible for short distances. The concept of waiting 10 minutes to travel for five minutes to take my kids to a swimming class and then ferrying them back after another 10 minute wait, and paying Rs. 50 each way, is terribly uneconomical. If you do this enough – and people with kids will know how many times “enough” happens – you will find this skews the equation substantially.

c) Doing long distance trips – to Mysore, or the mountains in the ghats, or even to Goa (we drive up) is going to be hugely expensive with a non-owned car. A sedan costs Rs. 2000 per day, which for a week can drain your economics substantially.

d) It leaves you at the mercy of Uber. There’s a surge? Ouch. There’s no Uber? Ouch again. They suddenly raise prices? Double ouch, because you have no alternative. Having a car is great because it is an alternative – even now, when Uber is cheap, I’ve used my own car when the nearest car was too far away. But at least I had my car to use!

Let’s not even consider the small joys of driving on a highway, and the privacy of your own vehicle.

I think the capital cost of owning a car should be considered only if you don’t plan to own a car and use Uber for everything. But for most people this may not be applicable.

Having said that, the economics aren’t that bad. I have two cars. One is 13 years old, and the other is six years old. They’re both awesome. I paid about Rs. 6 lakh for both of them. They will last me about 100,000 kilometers each, in fact even more is likely. (Ask any taxi owner how much a car lasts, and the average diesel taxi goes for 100,000 to 150,000 km)

Economically speaking, you’d have to adjust for the outstation trips where you hire a car. Then adjust for the comfort of your car when you need short trips or where you didn’t pay a surge price. And then for the interest cost of that Rs. 6 lakh paid upfront – say Rs. 50,000 per year. Over 10 years, you may see a net cost of Rs. 500,000 or so, over 100,000 kilometers, so your economic cost is Rs. 5 per kilometer.

Your metric may differ, and perhaps you’d go to Rs. 10 per kilometer, but I’m just saying.

(There’s an inflation metric to further confuse you but let’s not knicker-twist)

Add it in the calculation and you might hit about Rs. 13 per kilometer. This is just about the same as an Uber, you say? But obviously, Uber’s losing money at this fare, so they’re going to have to raise fares. And if they push it to Rs. 20 per kilometer, the economics just goes back in favour of you and your car.

But you know what kills the economics? Its the fact that you’re not in control of your life. A bus fare is regulated. An Uber with random surge pricing is not. So you have no idea what you will end up paying, and that uncertainty can be insane. You only know the lowest you will pay, not the highest. There are mathematical models to get a value for “what that uncertainty costs you”; these are often used in stock markets to price derivatives like call options. Roughly speaking (sorry to all the black-scholes fans here) you would put at least a 20% higher cost on something where the outcome is uncertain, to account for that uncertainty, and when you add that in, the Uber cost just went up even more.

Related Links:

India’s Deal with Japan to Make the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train – The Economics of the Deal

Ola & Uber Raised More Money in 2014 That all the IPOs in India! We Tell You how These Companies Work

Here’s Why RBI Did Not Allow Uber to Use Single-Factor Authentication to Bill You

RBI Did not Allow Uber to Bypass Their Mandated 2-factor Authentication; But they Decided to Bring in a Small Change

Why Does the IT Industry Have to go Through Upheavals to Survive? – The Inflexion Point

2. What About Parking Charges?

Many cities like Bangalore have very little in the area of parking charges. I visit a friend, I park near his house or in his complex and it costs me nothing. But Mumbai has a hefty parking cost, apparently, and driving your car does add that cost in your bill.

This is unavoidable, so I admit that this charge should be added to your cost. If you pay Rs. 2,000 per month to park your car, and travel 1,000 km, you will be paying Rs. 2 per km extra versus the Ubers and Olas.

That might push your cost to Rs. 15 per kilometer, including the fixed cost of a purchase, or Rs. 10 per kilometer if you own the car outright.

(Still cheaper than an Uber in my opinion, which is at Rs. 20 per kilometer including the uncertainty costs)

3. Won’t People Pay More For Convenience?

People would never have believed they would pay Rs. 100 for a coffee. For a coffee!

Yet, they do, in hundreds of air conditioned coffee shops in the country.

Won’t they pay more for a ride? Like 2x what they would pay for an alternative? Or even higher?

I’m sure Uber hopes so. I don’t think they will, because a coffee shop is a great place to meet friends and get a quiet place to chat, so you think of it as rent. There are cheaper alternatives but not available in the unit size of say, four coffees.

It will b
e quite remarkable for Uber to go into that zone. Maybe it happens. Maybe our kids will go around telling their friends, “lets Uber together”. If that happens I’ll be as surprised as many of you, but I must admit that this is a definite non-zero probability.

4. How Can Uber Make A Profit Elsewhere But Not In India?

Uber is profitable in other places, apparently. But in many of those places people are happy to pay high costs for a taxi. (average fares in alternatives are higher) In those places the fuel and running costs are low compared to the costs of the taxi itself (like a medallion cost in New York). Plus, cars are cheaper – In India we pay a LOT of money for cars. In dollar terms we pay as much for our sedans as the US, but the fares are 1/20th.

Which is why making a profit is going to be substantially tougher for Uber here. Yes, they have alternatives like food delivery and shipment transportation and other avenues. But if they address some of the cost issues – lowering fuel costs through gas conversion, lowering interest costs, doing bulk deals for cars so they’re cheaper etc. they might be able to do better. But at this point they’ll have to keep burning money for a while, and let’s hope for the sake of over 300,000 drivers that have registered for Uber/Ola across the country, that they don’t run out of funds.

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  • Sid says:

    Hi Deepak,
    I was actually going to comment on yesterday’s post but you’ve posted the counter as well. Great job!
    While your points are completely valid, I think the confusion really is because your perspective may not be the same as mine or for that matter anyone else. You already own the car and then you are making the comparison between that and taking an Uber. But in my case for example, I had to make a decision on whether to purchase a car or not and I happily went with the latter. I live in Mumbai, so this is again specific to my circumstance where I do not have parking in my society or office and regular metered cabs are available outside my gate (for the case where an Uber/Ola is too far away). And for those weekend trips there’s zoomcar and myles which from my experience do a fabulous job.
    Great post and lot of food for thought on the Uber business model.

    • Bhaskar says:

      There is some element of ownership bias too… I recently got my car in Bangalore since office will be shifting much further.
      BMTC normal buses are notorious for pickpocketing and bad labour class crowd in the bus. Volvo buses are good but costly. Auto haggling takes its toll everyday. Daily travelling is more economical for me now but yes you need to leave early to beat the traffic. But for long distance travel in the city during peak traffic, we still rely on Uber/Ola.

  • Praveen says:

    One more point to add, if popularity of User / Ola increases, what will happen to good old Auto / black-yellow taxis. Politicians will need votes from them, so you may have rules implemented by Govt which will hamper Uber operations like “Compulsory Receipts”,”Meter”,”Always-On-GPS”, minimum fare etc.
    I am sure this is going to come, auto drivers need to be protected as well.
    Consider this low price taxis like discount offers from Flipkart, works in short term, but long term they will charge hefty prices.

  • Shankar says:

    While comparing Uber and regular car ownership we should also consider economies of scale that will slowly work in Uber’s favor. Today they have already solved two major problems because they own the platform.
    a) connecting rider and driver and b) ensuring accountability, (at least a semblance of it).
    When they stabilize their ops, they should/would bring in more capabilities to their platform – advanced ride geo-tracking, tracking driver’s manners (based on acceleration, braking, etc), group insurance, bulk purchase/lease of cars, advanced algorithms for placing cars on the map, etc. These capabilities cannot be priced using regular economic metrics.
    We should also note that they are not trying to replace car ownership. They are just trying to complement it.

    • True, I think Uber isn’t exactly going to replace cars, so the car-cost economics shouldn’t be considered. And, like you said, the economics are different on an indiv basis.
      There are potential changes that an Uber can bring, and one of the things they can also do is create a massive financial pool for their drivers to get products from, since their incomes are now driven through their platform. Lots of other things they can do, but we won’t know if this helps until they do it…

  • Ashish says:

    A few points…
    * I think in Bangalore if Uber/Ola can put a dent into two-car or car+bike ownership, that would be a significant market.
    * Another big market segment could be working women. Increasing fast. Anecdotally prefer Uber/Ola over own car. Though this has been at threat with the rape cases.
    * I like the Rs. 100 coffee vs meetup analogy. In fact, by that, I would actually also include driver charges. Ola Prime with 4G over Wifi seems to be a sweet deal to pay for and get 2 hours of my day back. I actually use that time working, reading, calling and catching up instead of just driving. listening to adverts on the radio and screaming at random motorists. Will we be willing to pay a premium for time rather than transportation?
    * Economics is definitely not a solved question
    ** The supply-demand equation on drivers is not yet anywhere near stable. What would the incentives etc be if they manage to get 100-250K drivers+cars in Bangalore alone? But then, current pricing is determined by strategically funded competition.
    ** The long term answer might lie in “A Columbia University study suggested that with a fleet of just 9,000 autonomous cars, Uber could replace every taxi cab in New York City13 – passengers would wait an average of 36 seconds for a ride that costs about $0.50 per mile.” source-

  • vijay says:

    I abandoned my plans of upgrading from a hatch mostly because of zoomcar and uber. I still think we haven’t yet come to a place where car ownership can be totally abandoned in India – long way to go for that. Autos are whimsical; cabs are not always readily available and they sometimes throw tantrums and excuses; zoomcar needs a bit of pre-planning, etc…none of them are very helpful in an emergency. Reminds of something I read recently somewhere – “If you need something and haven’t bought it yet, you are already paying for it!”

  • Apoorv says:

    We must not forget that alongside Uber/Ola, self-drive car-rental companies are also sprouting up. It will be interesting to read your analysis about how Uber+Zoomcar will affect car ownership. Here is my take, for each of the use cases in your blog posts.
    1) Daily commute: Zoomcar Commute offers a Maruti Swift for 5 days in a week at Rs 4,200 for 300 kms (Rs 14/km). But I pay as I go, no one-time payment of Rs 7 lakh, no finance costs, no pressure to pay EMIs.
    2) Weekend trip to the mall/multiplex with family: Uber.
    3) Road trips to Goa: Hire a Zoomcar.
    4) Ferrying kids 5 kms or trip to grocery store: Use own motorcycle/scooter (cost: Rs 70,000)
    This way, someone who doesn’t own a car could split his use-cases between Uber, Zoomcar and a motorcycle and not need car ownership. What do you think?

    • Apoorv: for kids you’ll need a car, but yes a grocery store will probably take a motorcycle.
      Zoomcar: Impossible to get a car nowadays for a weekend. But assumign that changes into steady state availability, the zoomcar commute is like 17,000 per month without weekends, for a month. That’s pretty much the EMI of swift no? (Do they pay for fuel?)

  • lingamallu says:

    Deepak : An interesting read on this ride shares below. Hope you have already ready this :

  • Zero Risks says:

    Good article and the follow up.
    However, this is where Uber is betting its money On- Self Driving Cars. By 2020 they expect to have self driving cars on road. They have already started rolling out but 2020 is time frame for them to be available everywhere. So no driver incentives required, no losing money there and high efficiency.
    No wonder Google acquires a big stake in Uber. Uber will buy the cars made by Google giving a ready market to sell and then using those Uber will turn highly profitable. So they lose for another 2-3 years and then become a money minting machine.

    • I don’t think self driving cars are coming to India anywhere close to 2020. If we have decent roads by then I’ll be happy, but not betting on it.
      There is also zero chance that anyone will allow Uber to run a transportation service in India with driverless cars. They are being tolerated as a competition to local auto or metered taxis only because they provide employment opportunities. The minute their business means no employemtn you can bet that the business goes down to zero instantly. You can easily imagine it – the cars will be stopped, punctured, damaged or otherwise tampered with, and there won’t be anyone to stop them.
      But also, there is zero chance that driverless cars will even happen in India in the next decade. For that to happen, our infra has to be magically fixed and people educated in urban areas that tehy shouldn’t randomly cross the road. How do you tell a driverless car to stop when a cop has a hand signal on, and the main signal is not working?
      Uber’s going to try this, for sure, and I think driverless cars are great for factories and golf courses and large hotels. But to have them on the streets we are going to wait a lot longer than 2020.

      • Zero Risks says:

        Great, Agree to it mostly.
        And what about the human psychological factors – Like people don’t invest money in buying new cars as Uber is available and comfortable. Or atleast make people postpone their buying decision. High One time costs of purchasing a new car vs small money spent over a period of time. They are perhaps playing with human psych which would perhaps want to avoid uncertain costs coming from buying a new car like Insurance, Repair/maintenance, etc. The mindset maybe different for people already owning cars. But what about the generation who has never owned a car yet?

  • Madhu says:

    To start with the calculation is wrong, that is considering uber costs 13/ a days you have to cough up ride time charges, prime time charges, which varies from 1.3 to 3.8 times. Sometimes they charge waiting charges, even though it is you who is waiting for the cab. Recently for 9 km travel, I paid ₹250.
    Buble is already burst. Ola or uber, no more customer or driver friendly. When they charge prime time charges, not a single paisa goes to driver. Worse than auto fellows.

  • Mohan says:

    There is a “simple” way to put this argument to rest. Take all the trips currently being taken by people in a city (say, Bangalore) in their own cars and imagine that all those trips were instead taken on a ridesharing platform like Uber/Ola. Calculate how many cars will be needed, how far the drivers will have to drive to pickup passengers, etc. That will give you the total cost to service those many trips. Compare that to the cost people are paying to make those trips on their own cars.
    My guess is, the number of cars that will be needed will come down by a factor of 4-5. That is because, a single car can be reused for multiple trips, rather than sitting idle for 90% of the time. So the cost of those 3 or 4 cars that get replaced can easily pay for the cost of a driver (which is the only additional cost in Uber/Ola compared to using own car). Add in carpooling (no, it doesn’t have to add 15 minutes to your commute – more than 50% of the Uber trips currently made in SFO are pooled trips. Don’t SFOites value their time?) and the fact that you can be productive during your commute (If you earn Rs. 1000 per hour, at Bangalore traffic speed, that is like Rs. 60 per km), the benefits of Uber will far outweigh the costs of owning a car.
    I think over time, a centralized allocation system like Uber will get intelligent and know exactly how many cars will be needed in each neighborhood at any time of the day. Most of our trips occur at fairly fixed times anyway, so it is not hard to guess that. At the granularity of neighborhoods, the variations will be even lower. So all the system needs to do is deploy the required number of cars at every point, and the wait times will be close to zero (it already is in most parts of bay area). It can also match up pooled passengers such that deviation from route is minimal and still the car is loaded to capacity most of the time. That will bring down the costs significantly.
    In a few years, no one will miss owning their own cars, just as no one misses having their own water source (backyard well) and just take it for granted that when they need water, they just turn on the tap. Similarly, when you need transportation, just click a button.

  • Mohan says:

    And you mention that without incentives, we will start seeing the auto problem. That is an incorrect comparison. The problem with autos is that there is no centralized system which is matching supply with demand. It is quite likely that there will be some auto driver in your neighborhood who is willing to take you to your destination. But since you have to go around asking every driver manually, finding that driver is hard. Not so in Uber, which simply broadcasts your request to everyone within a few milliseconds.

    • I would disagree. The drivers do not get to see where the destination is, even in Uber. When they cut incentives to zero (which is when Uber becomes profitable) drivers will call and ask where you are going, and if they don’t like it, cancel the trip. Sure, you think that the “lower rating” is an impediment, but I don’t think so; for example, you can report auto drivers to cops but they simply don’t care.
      I’ve seen this situation even now – some drivers have requested me to cancel because I was going in a different direction at a late hour.

      • Mohan says:

        They can fix that by letting the driver know the destination. No need to call and cancel in that case. My point is, your request gets broadcast to all the drivers, so if there is someone who wants to go in the direction of your destination, it is easier to find that driver, unlike in auto, where you have to go looking for that auto driver one by one asking each of them manually.

        • Oh they tried that earlier. Drivers just wouldn’t go if the destination was bound to be crowded etc. So they had to remove this item. I don’t see it coming back easily, not even if there are enough drivers. Ola’s had the same problem – now they tell teh drivers the destination AFTER the pick up the passenger (not even when they have accepted the ride, and that’s the same with Uber)
          There’s a very different operational dynamic in practice – what works in theory often doesn’t translate to ground level activity.

        • Mohan says:

          Fair enough. Though when theory doesn’t translate to practice, I believe in going and fixing the things that are blocking it in practice rather than abandoning the theory 🙂
          Whatever the teething problems are, I think ridesharing as a model is superior to individual car ownership, as I explained in my previous comment. Which is why I am so desperate to do that analysis – look at all the trips and find out how many cars will be needed. If it turns out that the reduction in number of cars needed is not significant, then that’s fine. I am willing to change my mind. But my hunch is, it does bring down the number of cars significantly, significant enough to pay for the cost of the drivers and still leave a healthy margin for the platform operators. Also, efficient pooling will bring down the number of cars on the road thus cutting down on travel time (even if you are taking a small detour) and reducing pollution. Plus, the productivity gains from not having to drive, the comfort factor etc will be added bonuses.

        • I’m skeptical. There is no way people will give up their cars and trust an Uber, especially for short distances, especially if it costs you 2x a cars cost. As I said it’s about as expensive or more now, but they have to raise rates quite a bit.
          The economics needs to work on an individual basis. No one cares about the collective 😉

        • Mohan says:

          Let’s assume that the economics works in the collective (say, number of cars needed is only a fraction of what is currently needed). Then it is just a matter of percolating those collective benefits to individual level. Sure, it requires change in mindset, initial capital, etc but ultimately, system should move towards what makes overall economic sense (if it doesn’t, it is a market failure). Maybe that’s why Uber is building this huge war chest. They can incentivise car owners to sell their existing cars (by say, paying 20% premium over existing market rate) and turn them into Uber cars. As more and more people do that, the number of cars available for Uber will go up, their efficiency and reliability will increase and costs come down and customers will be happy. Win for all, except car manufacturers who will see their sales volumes drop significantly.

        • I’d like to see this happen.
          Eventually the economic sense will tilt towards owning a car, honeslty. In India it makes no economic sense to own a house, but people own houses no? If rental yields are 2% then it’s a waste of money to own a house. Yet, the psychological effects matter. Same with a car, unless you don’t have parking space. It’s simply cheaper to own a car, no matter which way you look at it – and even at scale Uber cannot beat the ownership metrics of a car, plus you have to include the economic cost of overpaying for short distances, waiting times (which are high even today when blr seems to be reasonably flooded with Ubers) and surge pricing, and the satisfaction of owning a car for the privacy etc.
          If Uber buys my car at 20% higher I will get into the business of buying cars and selling to Uber. Immediately. ANd within 10 days all of Ubers funding will be gone.
          But yeah, let’s see how this pans out.

  • Bunker says:

    Here is a true incident recently happened in Pune with me. I booked OLA seeing that there was a taxi nearby my spot from the App @4:25pm and within few minutes the driver called. He asked me “Sir, where are you located”? I told him my location. He again asked “where you want to go?”. My mistake here, I should not have answered this questions. However I answered “Pune Railway station”. He then said “I am in Baner hence I cannot take your ride, either you cancel or I will cancel”. I cancelled @4:35pm with reason “driver refused duty”. I could see on App he was not in Baner but he was very near to my location.
    I immediately called OLA Pune and they did nothing. Time was running out and my train time was now within 55 minutes. @ 4:50pm I just tried searching another OLA taxi and to my surprise a Ola cab was available just right where I was located. When I tried to book that, it prompted me “Agree to pay Rs 1.6x of the bill”. I refused that and I did not book. I suspect he was the same driver who earlier refused duty but then drove and came into my complex as he wanted to charge me more.
    Thereafter, I decided to take an auto, reached Pune station and missed my train by 35 seconds. Yes, only 35 seconds. I was holding the door bars but because I had elder members and kid with me, I did not board the moving train.
    Total loss to me was the AC Bus fare for all members.
    I fought with OLA Pune and OLA Mumbai Head office and got some refund back but not full. Action taken report on driver was not shared with me.
    India, a country that is riddled with bad roads, bad surface transport, bad mass transport thus these aggregator cabs will continue to exploit Indians. What Indian cities need is mass public transport system from all residential corners to all commericial spaces. The Mumbai metro ridership per km is 21,920/km which is second highest in world because the city is riddled with bad roads, encroachments, poor surface transport quality. For a simple 11.4 km metro track some 2.2 lakhs people travel daily in that stretch. And Reliance owned MMOPL does not want to increase the number of coaches from 4 to 6 or even eight coaches. People literally travel like goats in Mumbai metro. If reliance increases rolling stock, its maintenance costs will rise prompting them to increase fare, thus dropping ridership.
    Cities in India will also need metro rail tracks joining the peripheral areas of large cities. Eg. A round circular track that will join Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida, North Delhi, Gurgaon. This will reduce the burden on Connaught Place. However the Central Delhi lobby wont let that circle track happen ever. Why? Their business interest will get lost. Person travelling from Faridabad to Gurgaon wont come to Connaught place. That would hurt Delhi business.

  • Vasan Subramanian says:

    Hi Deepak,
    (I used to follow … that was more fun. Still hoping you’ll revive it some day.)
    Just a few points to counter your counter-argument:
    * Not everyone loves to drive. Especially the younger generation — why drive when you can Whatsapp on the way?
    * You seem to be looking at it from your own perspective of the ‘consumer’. You need to accept that you are not the average consumer, these days. (You speak Kannada, that should immediately disqualify you from being an average Bangalorean 😉 )
    * It boils down to asset utilization efficiency. For those who have to drive upwards of X km per month, owning a car makes sense, and for the others, Uber/Ola etc makes sense. X, of course, depends on the Investors’ subsidy. That’s the easy part. The tough part is figuring out how many people need to drive X km per month. As yet, we have had only anecdotal evidence from either side.
    * Having to drive for the daily commute is the fuzzy area. I think daily commute on public / new-age transport will improve over time (ZipGo, Uber Pool etc.) and become more predictable. If that amount of kilometers is removed from X above, the equation starts looking really different.
    * Uber is not going to replace owning a car, for those who can afford it. The sureness, comfort, the status symbol — these can never be replaced. But then, it’s not meant to replace, it’s meant to supplement. I own a 20 lakh car, yet I use Uber after a party (it saves lives of pedestrians) or when I’m not sure if I’ll get parking.
    But yes, let’s see how this pans out. I’m not sure either.

  • Great points Deepak.
    For me, Uber is god send as a Bachelor who was living in Bangalore. I am the kind of person who don’t like to drive. When we have to go short distances (like for a movie), we always prefer to take Uber because 1- we don’t need to know the route and 2- We don’t have to worry about parking. When we split the fare between 3 people, even at Rs 20 per ride, this is extremely affordable. Compare this to owning my car, it will feel weird to ask friends to share the money for Petrol in my car (Unless we go long distance).
    Coming to another non-obvious benefit of Uber. When I look for housing in Bangalore, most 2 BHK places with decent covered parking comes for 25K+ (I stayed in Indiranagar). I was able to get a 2 BHK for Rs 12K because it did not have parking. That’s a lot of saving on a yearly basis (Enough to buy a second hand car in a year!).
    Now that I shifted back to my home town (Trivandrum, Kerala), I realize that importance of owning a car even though I am still not married. There are hardly any Uber’s available. So without your own car, it becomes difficult. However, it’s much more economical to travel by Auto in my home town because auto drivers here do not ask for crazy rates like the ones in Bangalore.
    I still hope Uber becomes as popular as in Bangalore here. I was once charged Rs 550 for a taxi ride (In Indica) for a 9.5 KM drive from Aiport to my home (Pre paid taxi counter). Even with non incentivized rates, Uber would have still charged my less than Rs 200.