Ola, Uber set to get dedicated parking space at railway stations
In line with its initiative to shore up non-fare revenue, the Indian Railways is preparing a policy to provide dedicated parking slots to app-based taxi services like Ola and Uber.
This comes in the backdrop of the national carrier looking to develop an integrated mobile application offering end-to-end travel solutions for its passengers, including booking cabs, buses, flights and hotels through a new mobile application, as first reported by InfraCircle on 28 September.
“Five stations in Bengaluru have given parking space to Ola and Uber and a pick up point, and garner around Rs.7 crore a year. If one city in the country is getting that kind of money, we can imagine the potential; from Ola and Uber alone we can get more than Rs.200 crore a year. So that’s a new policy we planning to come up with. We will issue the tender for this on 15 February,” an official at the ministry of railways said requesting anonymity.
InfraCircle on 6 October had reported that taxi-hailing service Uber, bus booking platform RedBus, consumer goods company Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) and online travel firm Ibibo Group, among others, were in discussion with the Indian Railways to partner with the transporter’s integrated travel mobile app.
“Bengaluru has initiated the process but we will change it a bit because it’s not a scalable model. We need to gauge the potential across the country so there are no repetitive tenders. This will provide enhanced convenience to customers as well as revenue for us. This will also get integrated with our new IRCTC app and both Ola and Uber are on board for this. We will get it launched by March,” the official added.
Queries emailed to the spokespersons of the ministry of railways, Uber and Ola on 10 February remained unanswered.
On 27 December, InfraCircle had reported that the national carrier will be launching ticketing section of the app first to promote cashless payments. From this initiative, the railways expects a revenue of about Rs.500 crore.
On 10 January, Union minister of railways Suresh Prabhu had inaugurated policy initiatives for increasing non-fare revenue like out of home advertisement, content on demand, branding of trains, ATM policy and initiatives promoting ease of ticketing through digital transactions for reserved as well as unreserved passengers.
The ministry also plans to award its rakes for vinyl wrapping by the month of March. “The five packages include Rajdhani, Shatabadi and double decker trains, slow/fast express trains, Gareeb Rath and suburban trains. EY (consultancy firm) has finalised the estimates and are in the process of finalising the NITs (notice inviting tender) to the zonal railways for approval. We aim to inaugurate three things by March,” the official quoted above said.
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