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Uber expands flexible pricing model ‘Flex’ to 12 Indian cities: Report

Uber Flex

Ride-hailing service provider Uber is piloting a new flexible pricing service named ‘Flex’ in more than a dozen Indian cities, TechCunch reported; in turn, offering a unique blend of flexibility and affordability to its users.

Launched in October last year, Uber Flex has swiftly expanded to over 12 cities, including prominent locations like Aurangabad, Ajmer, Bareilly, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Gwalior, Indore, Jodhpur, and Surat. This expansion, reportedly confirmed by Uber, is part of the company’s strategy to target Tier 2 and 3 markets in India.

Diverging from its standard dynamic pricing model, which varies based on supply, demand, and traffic conditions, Uber Flex introduces a novel concept where commuters can bid a specific fare for their ride. This system, initially rolled out for cabs and subsequently extended to auto-rickshaw services, allows riders to choose from nine predetermined pricing points. The selected fare is then shared with nearby drivers, who have the discretion to accept or reject the ride offer.

This new model contrasts sharply with inDrive’s approach, where riders haggle the fare by inputting a price manually. Many inDrive drivers have voiced concerns over passengers offering excessively low fares. inDrive, however, touts its model as a balance between fair compensation for drivers and affordable rides for passengers, allowing drivers the option to counterbid.

Uber Flex aims to address these driver concerns by eliminating the option for passengers to set fares manually, introducing a lower limit on fares to prevent undervaluation. The service, available for different modes like Uber Go rides, Intercity cabs, Premier cabs, and auto-rickshaws, varies in availability across cities, not being applied uniformly to all modes in a single city.

The company is testing its flexible pricing model Flex in other markets including Lebanon, Kenya and Latin America. Additionally, metro cities in India including Delhi and Mumbai could also get Uber’s new service model soon.

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