While transportation startups like Uber, Grabtaxi, Didi Dache, Kuaide Dache, and EasyTaxi disrupt Asia’s taxi industry, they’ve all but neglected another huge opportunity in the sector: tuk-tuks.
Also known as auto-rickshaws and mototaxis, these three-wheeled machines are getting a 21st century makeover of their own. They still serve as a popular way to get around in Asia, great for short distances and able to dart through traffic more quickly than traditional taxis.
mGaadi aims to solve a couple of the biggest pain points with hiring tuk-tuks – namely, the price. tuk-tuk drivers often don’t use their fare meters, in which case the cost of a ride is usually negotiated beforehand. This can be discouraging for visitors and newcomers unfamiliar with an area. They simply aren’t sure how much to pay, and scams are common.
The resulting poor public perception means many people simply avoid tuk-tuks altogether, which is bad for drivers trying to make an honest living. mGaadi solves this problem by letting users book the nearest tuk-tuk on its network via phone, smartphone app, or web app. Each driver has his or her own crowdsourced rating, and the best drivers get more fares. mGaadi encourages drivers to always accept passengers, use their meter, drive safely, and be courteous. Drivers with poor ratings will be removed from the network.
mGaadi is currently only available in Bangalore but plans to expand to more cities soon. In its home city, it has signed up over 2,100 drivers. This latest investment will go toward developing its network of drivers, enhancing its technology, and expanding to other Indian metro areas.Editing by Steven Millward