Taxi trips from airport via apps set to become costlier – ET Auto

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Currently, Ola charges INR 172 per trip, while Uber charges INR 187 and BluSmart levies INR 218 for every ride.

Taxi rides from Bengaluru airport are set to cost more for passengers of app-based aggregators such as Ola, Uber and BluSmart, with a 30-40% expected increase in per ride pickup fee levied by these platforms when users book taxis from the airport, said people familiar with the development.

It comes as the agreements these platforms have with Bengaluru International Airport Ltd (BIAL) for using the aerodrome premises are up for renewal.

Under these agreements, which each of these platforms separately sign with BIAL, the airport operator is paid a certain fee on every ride. The charge is then passed on by the taxi aggregators to their passengers as airport pickup fee.

Currently, Ola charges INR 172 per trip, while Uber charges INR 187 and BluSmart levies INR 218 for every ride.

“The revised fee will become effective in a couple of weeks,” said one of the persons, who did not wish to be identified, “This fee charged to the rider by the cab players is fully passed on to the airport in return for use of airport infrastructure.”

As per their agreements, Ola, Uber and BluSmart have dedicated pickup zones allocated to them at the Bengaluru airport. In addition, their drivers can access free parking for a stipulated time.

“Every company negotiates its own terms with the airport operator depending on the volume of rides it is able to bring in… if a company does a higher number of rides every day, the per trip fee negotiated is lower,” said a senior executive with one of the ride-hailing companies. “Such agreements are signed with all private airports such as Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.”

ET’s queries sent to BIAL and Uber did not elicit a response till press time.

Spokespersons for Ola and BluSmart declined to comment.

Another person said that 70-75% of the rides currently out of Bengaluru airport are serviced by these three platforms, while the rest are by InDrive, Shoffr and other commercial taxi companies that have not signed agreements with BIAL to use airport infrastructure.

In Bengaluru, 15-20% of daily rides for these three players are airport trips, according to the person.

“The airport route is the most lucrative route with the highest ticket sizes, which is why every new player competes on this… you only see similar ticket sizes with inter-city rides or rentals, which is where a lot of focus is also shifting for ride-hailing firms,” said another senior ride hailing company executive.

BIAL is majority owned by billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Holdings, which has a 64% stake in the company that operates Bengaluru airport. German firm Siemens Financial Services owns 10% stake, while state-owned Airports Authority of India and Karnataka State Industrial Development Corporation hold 13% stake each in BIAL.

In addition to the app-based aggregators, other taxi operators that have concessionaire agreements with BIAL are Mega Cabs, WTI Cabs, Carzonrent and Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation.

  • Published On May 24, 2024 at 10:58 AM IST

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