EXCLUSIVE: Uber Bus in India soon? Head of Mobility in APAC says he is ready to import the Egypt experiment

EXCLUSIVE: Uber Bus in India soon? Head of Mobility in APAC says he is ready to import the Egypt experiment
Uber blog
  • Speaking at the Business Insider Global Trends Festival 2020, Uber’s President for Mobility in the Asia Pacific region, Pradeep Parameswaran spoke about the opportunities of having the Uber bus in India.
  • In July 2020, Uber had officially launched the ‘Uber Bus’ first in Egypt as an initiative to connect different cities in the country.
  • Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi too had earlier said that this service would be great for cities like Delhi.
Uber may soon bring buses into India as the $60 billion ride-hailing giant prepares for changes in shared mobility post the pandemic. And one of the exciting initiatives could be an Uber bus soon! Speaking at the Business Insider Global Trends Festival 2020, Uber’s President for Mobility in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, Pradeep Parameswaran revealed the plans for the Uber bus in India.

“We have trials and tests going on for buses on the Uber platforms, which is already in the launch phase in markets like Egypt and I’m hopeful that we’ll bring it to APAC soon,” Parameswaran told Business Insider.


Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi had hinted at this during his earlier visit to India. “We are testing and learning to understand how the service (Uber Bus service) works. As the product matures, it will be specifically marketed for cities like Delhi," Khosrowshahi had said then.
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In July 2020, Uber had officially launched the ‘Uber Bus’ first in Egypt as an initiative to connect different cities in the country. However, the company had been testing it in the country since 2018 and had expanded it to Ukraine and Mexico as well.

There are many who believe that people will prefer private transport going forward as they try to avoid proximity with other people. However that is not for everyone, especially in countries like India. Even the government thinktank NITI Aayog has expressed its wish to see fewer private cars and more players offering shared transport that is affordable.

“The idea that there is a shared infrastructure for mobility that meets every single person’s needs, whether you are spending ₹5, ₹15 or ₹50 per kilometre there should be an option for shared mobility,” Parameswaran said.
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While Uber Bus might take its time to ride into the Indian roads, it has pushed forward with the idea of shared transport. “In India, we have autos and bike taxis as India’s transport minister has spoken about expanding that as Gojek and Grab have shown they can be amazing options in South East Asia,” he said.

During Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s visit to India in October 2019, the company had launched its ‘public transport’ feature. Khosrowshahi had then launched the feature in partnership with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. The feature allows one to check schedules for the Delhi Metro, based on pricing as well as timing. Recently, Uber had also partnered with Hyderabad Metro Rail, Larsen & Toubro Metro and the Telangana State Road Transport Corporations’ bus service.

Uber has been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic. For the second quarter of the year, Uber saw its gross bookings come down by 35% to $10.2 billion, while its revenue was down by 29% year-on-year to $2.24 billion.
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