Cabs aggregators see rise in demand for autos, rentals

Cabs aggregators see uptick in demand for autorickshaws, rentals: Report

The recovery in these niche categories has, however, been hyperlocal

The shift in demand indicates a change in consumer behaviour. Credit: DH File Photo

Cabs aggregators have observed a sharp rise in demand for autorickshaws, all-day cabs and outstation trips.

Even as the on-demand services are just inching up to pre-Covid-19 levels, the segment, which typically formed less than 25% of overall ride volumes for shared mobility providers before the pandemic, saw growth in demand during the festival season, according to a report by The Economic Times. 

During the first few weeks of nationwide lockdown, demand for Uber and Ola cabs had reduced drastically as travel and workplace restrictions were put in place. 

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The recovery in these niche categories has, however, been hyperlocal with Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Kolkata showing more recovery in mobility than Bengaluru and Hyderabad, analysts told the publication. 

“Uber’s auto service is currently its fastest-growing product,” an Uber spokesperson told the publication. “Rider demand for our auto service varies across markets, with cities like Delhi and Mumbai returning to 8 per cent of pre-Covid levels, followed by cities like Jaipur and Chandigarh to almost 50%…” the spokesperson said.

Uber, which recently launched auto rentals in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Pune, has expanded service in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Lucknow and Agartala.

The shift in demand indicates a change in consumer behaviour. "On average, auto and moto are seeing recovery rates of 60% and 45%, respectively, while within the cab category, the use case is also changing from daily commute to other travel," an investor told the publication. The investor added that point-to-point cab commutes will take several quarters to recover fully.

Ola, which has also seen a growth in inter- and intra-city travel, expects the overall growth to pick up in the coming weeks as offices gradually open and people step out in the festive season.