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Bike taxi app Rapido enters into on-demand autorickshaw service

Saransh Pandey

Intern
  • October 16, 2020
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    Rapido has on-boarded 20,000 auto captains autorickshaw driver-partners so far

Rapido the Bike taxi startup has started an on-demand autorickshaw hailing service on its platform with the aim of expanding its offerings at a time when the micro-mobility segment has been recovering from its losses. Rapido Auto services will be available in 14 Indian cities across 10 states. Unlike its competitor Ola and Uber who also provide on-demand autorickshaw services, Rapido will charge its users an additional convenience fee in addition to the meter price.  

By end of 2020, the company plans to expand services to 50 cities. This is the first phase of the launch and Rapido has on-boarded 20,000 auto captains autorickshaw driver-partners so far. Rapido is planning to collaborate with more than 500,000 autorickshaws in the next six months. Auto drivers can self-onboard by downloading the Rapido Captain app or calling the Rapido helpline number. 

Aravind Sanka, Co-Founder, Rapido, in its statement said that Autos have emerged as a preferred way of commuting post the COVID-19 pandemic after bike taxis. While the auto service industry is highly penetrated, it has only 5% of its existing market online. The company has assured that the auto drivers will be trained to sanitize and clean the seats and all customer accessible areas, post every ride, along with mandatory usage of masks during the entire ride by the Captains and passengers. The company will be offering free cancellation if the drivers or customers are not wearing a mask. 

The mobility startups such as Rapido, Bounce, VOGO, Yulu, and cab-hailing platforms including Ola and Uber have been hit hard by post lockdown, implemented in March to help control the spread of COVID-19, public transport and mobility services had remained non-operational for almost five months. Some bike rental firms have started selling off their assets to keep costs at check. 

The mobility firms have turned their focus to last-mile logistics services as soon as different segments of the economy began unlocking in June. In July, Uber expanded its business to customer (B2C) and customer to customer (C2C) logistics services in India, while Rapido launched ‘Rapido Store’, a new inter-city logistics service for businesses to deliver products at consumers' doorsteps. 

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