Different platforms have been used for transportation purposes by people belonging to various categories. Generally, families and business groups prefer cabs and taxis. In the past 2 years, there has been a widespread interest in online transportation booking applications such as Ola, Uber etc.
Problems and implications:
The conventional cab booking services deal with the following problems:
Lack of clarity: Conventional cab services can be availed only through direct booking from a mobile phone. Information relayed through this medium might not always be clear due to external disturbances. Moreover, details regarding the cabs aren’t very clear either. As a result, customers tend to feel worried until the cab arrives.
Time constraints: Conventional cabs need to be booked in advance so as to avoid peak hrs and unavailability of cabs. Therefore during emergencies, it becomes tough to lend a car.
Unsecured payment methods: Conventional cab service always provides the rate of the travel after its completion. This is a way to trick customers into paying whatever the driver wants to.
Service range: Conventional cabs cover only certain locations over the city and therefore don’t cater to a wide range of customers.
Cost: Most of the conventional cab and auto services charge more than the average price for the travel. This could also be owed to the fact that customers aren’t notified in prior of their travel about the amount.
Losses for the driver: When viewed in all the sides, conventional booking systems aren’t advantageous even to the driver due to lack of information provided before the ride. Moreover, due to fixed localities, drivers can’t make enough money outside the locality.
The above problems are solved by online application booking applications such as Uber, Ola through the following ways:
Clarity: Online booking applications provide clear details regarding the locations, driver number, driver ratings, cost, estimated time of arrival etc which makes it easier to travel.
Time efficient: Since most of the booking could be done in just a few clicks, time is saved.
Real-time tracking: Online cab booking services provide real-time monitoring of the cabs position during the travel which is much safer and provides an enhanced customer experience. This information could also be shared with our family as a safety precaution.
Cost effective: Through online platforms, even last minute bookings don’t cost as much as normal cab bookings. The rates vary with distance and peak hours.
Diverse choice: Online cab booking applications offer discounts regularly to attract customers. Moreover, there are also bonuses for inviting friends to join the application. Not just cabs, but these platforms also provide shared services such as UberGo and AI-based home system
Round-the-clock services: Being an online platform, bookings are open all the time. But the quantity and diversity might vary due to the availability of the drivers at such hours. Cost may also considerably vary.
The advantage for drivers: Through providing many customers from a different locality, drivers easily find customers through ola and unlike in the past, need not need to go to different localities or wait for hours to find one.
Though online cab booking applications have been around only since the last few years, the impact they have created is here to stay. Through better services, such companies can expand their coverage area. Moreover, such applications provide better incentives to the drivers and therefore are both a boon for the customer as well as for the drivers.