Despite having around 5,000 registered vehicles Uber has suspended its auto rickshaw hailing service in Delhi even as Ola, launched in November 2014 continues to offer the service. Introduced in April 2015, Uber auto rickshaw service has been temporarily removed to deal with specific problems that need to be ironed out before being reintroduced.
With around 5,000 registered vehicles as on date Uber faces competition from Ola that offers autos in six cities and plans further expansion to three additional cities by the end of this year. Uber riders were asked to stay away from Ola locations while another reason for the temporary suspension was that there were no licenses in this space. Auto permits were only issued to individuals. The government has not introduced a policy wherein licenses were offered to fleet ownership or corporate under this scheme.
Delhi has restrictions for only 1,00,000 auto permits which has resulted in a huge grey market for auto permits while in some cities it was noted that cost of auto permits were so high that it was practically equal to the cost of the vehicle itself. Besides these problems, Uber also had to contend with training driver fleet and added spending on market and customer acquisition while having to keep prices competitive.
Uber launched uberAUTO allowing passengers the option of paying by cash after it ran into trouble with regulators over payment facility by credit cards. Uber had to stop credit card payments and entered into a contract with online wallets such as Paytm. Earlier this year, Uber once again introduced credit card payments with a two step authentication process and cash payment option for taxi rides.