Thank God for Ola, Uber and the like, for now travelling from one place to the other, at any time of the day, is so much easier. If you still haven’t tried these apps, allow us to tell you that they are, most of the times, efficient and reliable. But, before you try them, here are a few things you must keep in mind...
1. Understand their fare charges.
Ola advertises by saying that it provides cab services at the lowest fare in the market, at 6 Rs/Km. But what does it really mean? Here’s how their fare charges work. Ola has a fleet of cars available, from Micro to Mini to Luxury, that you can choose from. Your rental is based upon the type of car you choose. There is a fixed minimum amount you need to pay for the first few kilometres if you have booked and availed the cab, and subsequent charges apply per kilometer after that. The fixed charge and the charge per kilometer again depend upon the type of car you rent.
For example: If you rent a Micro car with Ola in Delhi, you will have to pay Rs 60 for the first 4 kms and then pay 6 Rs/km. But if you rent a Mini, you will have to pay Rs 100 for the first 4 kms, and 8 Rs/km, subsequently.
2. After you book a cab, the driver can’t refuse to take you wherever you wish to go.
Ethically, the driver can’t refuse to take you wherever you want to go just because it’s inconvenient for him or there’s too much traffic on the way. However, if he does refuse you after you’ve booked a cab, you must report him on the app and due action will be taken against him.
3. Make sure that the driver switches on his app before he starts the journey.
In most cases, the drivers alert you that they are starting the journey and you can see it on your own mobile screen too. But in case they don’t, then you must make sure you ask them to.
4. Check the car number before you sit inside one.
You will receive details of the car you’ve booked, including its model type, its number and the driver’s name. Make sure these details match, when the cab arrives, before you avail it.
5. Also, check that the driver has his employer details mentioned in the car.
Most drivers usually have a board strung inside their cab that details out their employment contract. This is just a safety parameter and you must make sure that it has been followed.
6. All cabs are air conditioned, and you can always ask the driver to switch on the AC without paying extra for it.
Or for the fuel. All these charges are included in the final fare that will appear on your app, at the end of the journey. You need not pay anything outside of this fare. You do not need to leave a tip for the driver and you must report him if he asks for it.
7. Do not sleep in the car, for your own safety.
We’d advise you to remain alert to thwart any mishappening. Play music, talk on the phone, do what it takes to keep you awake.
8. You must share your location with a friend or a relative.
Simply using Whatsapp, you can share your location so that someone knows about your whereabouts all the time. You can also share driver’s details straight from the app. Most cab hailing apps advise you to add emergency contact detail on the app - you should definitely make use of this service!
9. Do not get in the car, if someone other than the driver is present.
No one except the driver must be present in the car, unless you booked a pooling/sharing cab. Also bear in mind that the cab driver is not allowed to pick someone else on the way, unless, of course, you have chosen to share your ride.
10. You can ask the driver to take a different route from the one he is taking.
Yes, you can ask him to take whatever route you want, and the GPS will redirect itself and calculate the fare accordingly. Sometimes the shortest route might not be the safest one, so feel free to guide the driver according to the route YOU wish to take.
11. You can also book an auto or opt to share a cab with other people, for further reduced rates.
It is actually quite convenient to book an auto with Ola, as they have a few autowallahs registered, who will run by the meter and charge you a base amount of Rs 25 for the first 2 kilometers, and a subsequent amount of Rs 8 per kilometer. You can even book an E-rick for the same fare. There is also the option of pre-booking a cab, going outstation or even sharing it with other people. However, sharing a cab may take you longer, as the person you are sharing a cab with may have to go to a different location (on the same route), so don't opt for this option unless you have some time to spare.