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Discounted rides and more: Uber pilots loyalty service UberPASS in India

UberPASS will give customers access to discounted rides and highly rated drivers

Alnoor Peermohamed  |  Bengaluru 

Uber
UberPASS will give customers access to discounted rides, highly rated drivers, waiver of cancellation fees and access to other product features. (Photo: Reuters)

San Francisco-based ride-hailing service is piloting a monthly subscription model for its service in India as it looks to maintain its customer base at a time when rides are getting more expensive and drivers are quitting the platform.

will give customers access to discounted rides, highly rated drivers, waiver of cancellation fees and access to other product features. The service is being piloted in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai for select users initially, but the company did not reveal the price.

“We are always thinking of new ways to enhance the experience for our riders. is one such product designed to offer riders using our service for their daily commute, a seamless and consistent ride experience,” said Shailesh Sawlani, General Manager at

Uber’s chief Indian rival Ola offers a similar service called Ola Select, for which it charges Rs 499 per month and offers customers priority bookings, no peak pricing, in-cab WiFi and even access to lounges at Airports. The company has positioned the service as a premium offering for regular customers of its service.

Ola had launched Select in August 2015, far ahead of in India. However, the company does not break out numbers of customers opting for Select.

While seems to have taken Ola’s local idea for UberPASS, the borrowing of ideas between the two isn’t new. Ola too has adapted its Share Pass service where users can pre-book shared rides at a fixed cost based on Uber’s Pool Pass service that is available in some geographies globally.

But efforts to retain riders by both comes at a time when fares have been seen as climbing over the past few months. Moreover, and Ola have lost over 25 per cent of their cab supply in the three months to March according to RedSeer Consulting, meaning longer wait times and more disgruntled users.

The research firm had also said that the number of rides completed in the March quarter fell by 5 per cent year-on-year, the first de-growth since the inception of the sector in India. As both look to boost their earnings by cutting incentives for drivers and discounts for riders, it is to be seen if value added services such as and Ola Select keep customers coming.

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