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article imageUber launches new UberAuto service in India

By Sravanth Verma     Apr 8, 2016 in Travel
Bhubaneshwar - Uber, the company that provides cabs to customers through its smartphone app, has launched a unique service in the Indian city of Bhubaneshwar, where it is offering an app-based three-wheeler autorickshaw service.
Autorickshaws are an ubiquitous part of urban Indian transport. The three-wheelers offers point-to-point transport unlike the public bus service, and are cheaper than cabs, which makes them very popular with the Indian middle-class.
The service was inaugurated by the Bhubaneshwar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena. Member of Odisha's state legislature, Priyadarshi Mishra, and the commissioner of BMC North, Krishan Kumar, were also present.
Uber launched the service on April 1, which marks the Formation Day of the eastern Indian state of Odisha, of which Bhubaneshwar is the capital. Bhubaneshwar, a popular tourist destination is a fast-growing city and part of the Indian government's Smart Cities technology initiative.
"In line with our vision to provide technology-backed, low-cost smart mobility solutions, UberAuto has been launched in Bhubaneshwar, the city that recently topped the smart city list," a release from Uber said Jena said, "The Smart City project is a priority for Bhubaneshwar and we welcome initiatives like UberAuto which provide smart mobility solutions. Such solutions will make travelling in the city safer as well as more affordable and convenient for citizens of Bhubaneshwar."
Bhubaneshwar, which is known as the city of temples, forms what is referred to as the Golden Triangle of the East, with the nearby temple town of Puri and the famous sun temple of Konark.
General Manager Uber East India, Ashwin Dias explained that autos were still a part of daily commute for most passengers, and that since they were cheaper than cabs, they represented an important par of the transport network. The service will also help auto drivers make more money by helping them find more customers. The base fare for a ride will be INR 15 (25 cents). The fare will increase by INR 3 per kilometer and INR 1 per minute of waiting time.
Uber has also launched a similar service in the southern Indian city of Coimbatore. Earlier, its autorickshaw service in Delhi shutdown in just seven months due to lack of customer interest. Coimbatore and Bhubaneshwar are tier-2 cities in India, and Uber may therefore find more traction in these places for its service.
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