Kathmandu, a place with crazy high traffic and equally polluted roads. Where teenagers rely completely on their parents for their mobility, what wonders can a ride sharing apps in Nepal introduce? Well, we have seen how the vast supply met the even wider demand here in Nepal with so many ride-sharing apps in Nepal. Let us take a step back.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
The first company which presented a solution to stuffy public transportation was Tootle. Tootle was immediately celebrated nationwide.
In the past, parents were not sure about letting their children on these ride-sharing apps. They pose two major threats everyone would want to avoid. Meeting a stranger, getting on a two-wheeler with him/her. Yet, slowly but surely, adults also started using these apps after realizing how efficient they are with their schedules.
Tootle (before and current)
Tootle was founded by Sixit Bhatta in 2017. It connects a user to nearby bikers/cab-owners.
Tootle has many safety functions like real-time monitoring of your ride, instant confirmation with trip details, safety SMS which helps sharing your trip status, transparency in payment method, ease of approach, faster commute, and gender choice to ensure a comfortable ride.
Earlier in 2020, Tootle also started its cab service, Tootle Cabby. It is solely for four-wheelers. This was an ultimate solution to people hesitant to use two-wheelers like adult women who prefer taxis.
After the lockdown ended and tootle began its services, the company omitted commission for its bikers. 100% of what users pay goes directly to the bikers. Tootle believes it is a crucial time for daily-wage earners like them. And the company feels responsible to act in the support of the community and help it grow.
With the success of Tootle in Nepal, Pathao, a Bangladeshi company began its services in Nepal too.
Pathao also provides both two-wheeler and four-wheeler ride-sharing options. Pathao opened its services in Nepal in September of 2018.
It is famous for its many discount codes and quick services. And now it has also opened a food delivery service known as pathao food. It is an app with ranging restaurants and cuisines for users to select and order.
Currently, after COVID-19 pathao has ensured safety by making all of its riders wear PP suits.
TOOTLE VS PATHAO
For a long period, in the beginning, tootle and pathao were the only ride-sharing app available. Although the competition was within two services, it was quite high. People usually preferred pathao because they had crazy discount codes. It was a lot cheaper than tootle. I rode in Pathao for only Rs 20! So I could relate to why people chose pathao over tootle.
However, many people also chose to tootle over pathao as it is an international company. The money they paid would go to Bangladesh whereas the money for tootle would go into our local startup. So many nationalists would prefer to tootle despite its a bit pricey tag. Yet, now tootle is challenging pathao in terms of price too.
But now, the competition has grown a lot. There have been a lot of new services popping up after the two original apps. These new services also have seen good use and popularity in Nepal.
Since it has become a very big competition between so many applications it is hard to determine a definite winner. Any individual can choose from any applications. But we can say that tootle takes the trophy for being the first to light the way. And also provide an environment for so many ride-sharing apps in Nepal.
Also Read: Panchey Baaja- A Nepali matrimony apps.
NEWCOMER RIDE SHARING APPS IN NEPAL
Sarathi– A taxi-hailing service. Sarathi helps in promoting taxi drivers who are affiliated with them. These taxi drivers can earn through the app or from the streets. This does not make them dependent on one source only. Sarathi is a taxi booking service rather than a ride-sharing app.
With the tagline ‘Proudly Nepalese’, SuperApp is a new but not least in the competition. They provide SuperFood and SuperShop along with the SuperRide. It is one app for every service.
Lozoom is also a ride-sharing platform that aims to provide rental services soon. It already has 5000 plus downloads and a 4-star rating in the google play store. Slowly, Lozoom is also gaining popularity.
These are not all competing to be the best. There are a lot of similar ride-sharing apps like Filili, Sawarima, and more.
The Next Side Of Ride-Sharing Apps In Nepal
While we could see many benefits of these apps, yet, there is one downside. It is of safety.
There have been many reports of people being tricked into riding with a stranger they thought was their ride sharer. Although the apps like pathao do provide a vehicle number, sometimes they do not match. And most people just do not check it but simply ask “ Tapai ho?” and get on.
Pathao’s new PP suits do help in recognizing your rider as they have a printed suit. Another factor is that they never offer a helmet. Although these apps do ask you after your ride for a review and if they provided you with a helmet but they never do.
Nepal is not a society where the backseaters in 2 wheelers wear helmets. However, a huge app and platform like these apps should not lag on safety like this.
Ride sharing apps in Nepal have catered to very high demand and varying needs that the people didn’t know could be served. Hence there are so many of these apps popping up. Each a little different and a little unique.
But the differences are starting to blur and everything seems the same. Henceforth the decision to choose between so many options lies completely within the user.