No More Zero Commission? Bangalore’s Namma Yatri To Charge Fees From Auto Drivers From Sept 1

by Sanjana Shenoy
No More Zero Commission? Bangalore’s Namma Yatri To Charge Fees From Auto Drivers From Sept 1

On November 1, 2022, Bengaluru auto unions launched their own ridesharing app, ‘Namma Yatri (Our Passengers). Unlike Uber, Ola and Rapido, this app promised auto drivers a zero commission model. At government-fixed rates, passengers can hitch autos at just an additional rate of ₹10 for pick-up charges. However, from September 1 onwards, Namma Yatri will soon charge a nominal subscription fee from auto drivers. Here’s what this move means.

Namma Yatri To Start Charging Nominal Subscription Fee From Auto Drivers

According to a report by the Economic Times, Namma Yatri, an app launched by the Autorickshaw Drivers Union (ARDU), will now charge a nominal subscription fee to its auto drivers. There are two subscription models the drivers can opt for. The first one states they should pay ₹3.5 per trip for up to 10 trips per day. After this, there won’t be charges after 10 rides. The second model states they must pay ₹25 per day to avail unlimited trips.

So, why is Namma Yatri, a ride-hailing app known for its zero-commission model opting for a subscription-fee model? This is because the amount collected as subscription fees from auto drivers will be used for R&D, maps, marketing and engineering. Also, Namma Yatri eventually plans to opt for an open application to bring down costs.

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What This Change Means For Drivers & Passengers?

Currently, over 35,000 auto drivers have already taken subscription plans and nearly 7500 have organically completed this subscription process. Shan MS, Chief Growth Officer of Juspay stated to The Hindu that this new model will enable the company to start welfare programmes for drivers in the future. The official fee collection commences on September 1, 2023. He further added that they will maintain this fee structure for one year and then explore options to reduce prices in the future.

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Currently, Namma Yatri is seen as a good competition to ride-hailing apps like Uber and Ola due to its zero-commission policy. This is the very reason why many auto drivers signed up with the app. However, with a subscription fee model, one has to see if this could lead to a change in driver behaviour.

Should we expect to face disgruntled drivers, more auto cancellations and demand for cash instead of UPI payment? Well, only time can tell what this would mean for commuters in Bangalore.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva