Brand new app-based ‘S3’ cabs are ready to hit city roads from today.
Chief minister Devendra Fadanvis will launch the service, that will join more than 50,000 tourist cabs being operated as app-based taxis in Mumbai. The new taxi aggregator, Sahyadri Smart Safe Cabs or S3, claims that their cabs will be free of surge pricing, a system in which cab fares shoot up with demand. They will also charge drivers lesser facility charges than other aggregators.
“There will be neither surge nor night charges. Our cabs can be booked at a fare of ₹10 -₹12 /km, which is lesser than other aggregators,” said Prafulla Shinde, founder-director of S3.
Around 800 tourist cab drivers have registered on their platform and 4,000 other applications are being processed, said Shinde. S3 claimed they are going to charge 3% towards facility charges from drivers on a daily earning of up to ₹1,500 to ₹2,000 and 10% on any amount above it, as opposed to 20-25% charged by others. Ola and Uber have been primarily providing app-based taxis since 2014. Despite the new Maharashtra City Taxi Rules 2017 regulating surge pricing, lack of implementation has left consumers unhappy. Shinde claimed that S3 will follow the new rules. “We have set up a call center. Complaints can be made via mail, WhatsApp, and on the helpline number. Drivers can also be rated,” he said. The app is available on Android and IOS platforms. S3 also developed a service app for restaurants, hotels, bars, etc, who can use it to book cabs for their customers.
Shinde said S3 also plans to launch a parcel service in July and they are already in talks with two online shopping companies