Bike-taxi operator Rapido extends auto rickshaw service to Bengaluru
Bike-taxi operating platform Rapido has extended its auto rickshaw service to Bengaluru, now making the service available in a total of 26 Indian cities with a fleet of over 1.5 lakh autos. For operations in the city, the company has deployed around 20,000 autos and plans to increase the count to more than 50,000 autos by the end of the year.
Rapido has launched the auto service in the country about one year ago starting with 14 key cities across 10 states. It then extended the service to 11 more cities and is now launching it in Bengaluru. The company aims to increase the count of its fleet across the country by adding five lakh more auto rickshaws by the end of this year.
The Rapido Auto service in Bengaluru will be available at the meter price as per the state-defined rate card, where minimum fare for the first 1.9 km is ₹25 and ₹13 for every additional km. Each auto rickshaw from the Rapido fleet will come equipped with a GPS tracker. Commuters will also be able to track and share their rides in real-time as well as provide feedback within the app.
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The Auto Captains or the auto drivers of Rapido have been asked to sanitise the seats after every ride as well as maintain all required Covid safety protocols. Passengers will also have to wear a face mask at all times during the ride.
The company says that amid the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for auto rickshaws has risen as more and more people are opting for affordable safer commute options in order to maintain social distancing. However, since there is high offline competition among auto drivers but lesser demand due to the scattered nature of the service, auto drivers tend to charge higher street premium, Rapido says. "We are aiming to strike a balance between demand and supply - bringing in more reliability and convenience for both drivers and customers," said Shravya Reddy, VP of the company.