Bengaluru, Kolkata drive growth of Uber, Ola shared rides in India

Uber and Ola both witnessed the most number of shared rides taken in the cities of Bengaluru and Kolkata.

Uber has its ‘UberPool’ service, while Ola offers ‘Ola Share’ for shared rides.
Uber has its ‘UberPool’ service, while Ola offers ‘Ola Share’ for shared rides. (Shankar Narayan/HT Photo)

Cities like Bengaluru and Kolkata have seen strong growth in commuters opting for shared rides on cab aggregation platforms like Ola and Uber, helping make significant savings on fuel costs and curbing pollution.

According to Ola, its 'Share' service has clocked 2x growth in the past one year with Bengaluru and Kolkata emerging as the top two cities in terms of adoption, followed by Chennai and Mumbai.

The company, which launched 'Ola Share' in October 2015 that is now operating in 36 cities, attributed the growth in adoption to improved awareness and customer experience.

Uber, too, saw similar trends. As per the Green Index released by the American firm, Bengaluru registered the highest number of 'POOL' trips taken, followed by Delhi and Kolkata.

Interestingly, over 39% of trips taken in Kolkata through Uber were shared rides, closely followed by Bengaluru (37%), it said.

"There is a growing trend to ditch the personal vehicle, access public transportation and use uberPOOL for first and last mile connectivity... Global studies suggest 1 shared vehicle has the potential to take 9-13 cars off the road," Uber said.

Ola said it has seen uptake for 'Ola Share' going up to as much as 70% from mass transit hubs in top 7 cities with Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Pune registering the maximum adoption, followed by Hyderabad and Delhi.

It has also launched a campaign '#FarakPadtaHai' to drive the concept of shared rides across the country. Uber said uberPOOL -- available in 12 Indian cities -- has helped avoid over 200 trillion kms of independent travel and prevented over 36,537 tonnes of CO2 emissions in India.

"The growing adoption of ridesharing across the country is an encouraging sign for us in driving a positive socio-economic change and create viable alternatives to private car ownership," Uber India and South Asia Regional General Manager Prabhjeet Singh said.

Singh added that ridesharing can also play a key role in complementing the government's efforts towards reducing congestion and pollution.