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With the ever-growing traffic jams inside Kathmandu Valley, we thought it would be appropriate to review some of the taxi and ride-sharing apps available here. Public transports aren’t getting any better and taxis always tend to charge more. This is where these services come to play. The ride-sharing and taxi services have crossed the early phase now but still, there is a lot more to do on these. As more and more players come in, these apps in Nepal have started to become worthy for the easy, comfort, affordable transport.
The bike ride-sharing app that lets users share a ride if on the same/similar route. The setup is fairly easy. Simply download the app from the play store, sign up and log in. The app lets you choose the pickup point, destination point and generates the shortest possible path. Now, you have to wait until someone accepts your request.
On the biker side, you need to install the tootle partner app, the app lets you choose between various nearby clients.
The ride fare is charged according to the distance covered.
First 3 km: Rs. 60
3-6 km: additional Rs. 18/km.
More than 6 km: additional Rs. 25/km
Payments can be done through cash or tootle wallets at the end of the ride. Before Tootle used to give Rs. 200 balance for the first sign up but now it seems removed. The Tootle balance top-up can be done through eSewa, IME, Sct moco or Tootle voucher.
Read more about Tootle.
After the success of the Tootle bike sharing app in Kathmandu, another similar platform from Bangladesh joins the race. Pathao also becomes so much popular in Kathmandu in a very short period of time, that they have even started the car or taxi service with Pathao Cars. Pathao having an efficient algorithm to find the rider has a simple layout, smooth performance and the taxi/bike availability is also ensured throughout the day and also at night times.
Pathao also keeps on sending some coupons to people, that is also one of the reasons to make it popular. For the bike ride, Pathao charges the same rate as that of Tootle. But for the riders, the earnings are 80 to 85 percent of the total ride charge. There is no service charge in the case of Bike service.
For the taxi ride, Pathao charges Rs 100 for the service charge that they say is for the makeover for pick up from long-distance, data pack/call charge, waiting and more. The taxi ride charge is the same as that of the government rates as in the genuine taxi meters. But they do charge high sometimes based on congestion and peak demand times.
Find the Pathao app here. Remember there is a separate mobile app for riders. You can either visit them or they will come to your place to register if you are in a group.
Easy Taxi Nepal is a taxi only booking service provider that is based in Nepal. After you install the app and select the destination, they will send the taxi request to the nearest driver, based on the GPS location. This way, both the passenger and driver will get benefit out of it. After the approval, the passenger will also know the location of the driver and estimate the arrival time.
The cost of the Easy taxi Nepal app’s taxi service is similar to that of Pathao Cars. The availability of taxis is not up to that of Pathao but it still serves you well after waiting some time.
Find the Easy taxi app here.
Sarathi was one of the most anticipated Taxi apps here in Kathmandu. They used to give such a taxi service from offline, by taking the booking request from a phone call. Now they have become fully online by using mobile apps to serve people for pleasant taxi experience.
From operating offline to online, we can find the number of taxis availability has increased now than before. They have also changed their business model from owning their own taxis to now being a crowd sourced mode. The taxi fares in Sarathi goes as per the service rate of Government and is charged as per the digital meter.
There are still some complaints about the app for their availability and mobile app hang issue.
Find more info about the app here.
The next on the list is Onver smart taxi, a company that provides an online taxi booking service for some years. After a few minutes of installation and login, the app lets you choose your destination and you can book among the taxis shown in the app.
The ride charges are as per the government-mandated rate. You also get to know the estimated fare before booking a taxi. The downside is that you require a constant internet and GPS connection for the app to work.
There is also a big question on the availability and the waiting time.
Find the Onver Smart Taxi app here.
Another taxi booking app that claims to be the first of its kind in Nepal operating from the early days. The overall principle is the same as that of Onver. It simply helps connect the drivers and customers without a lot of hassles. After setting up a pick-up location, the app places the request to your call. Then you get to choose from the drivers near your location and you have the taxi ready to pick you up. The payment is done at the end of the ride through cash.
The ride fare is the same as the government-mandated but extra charge needs to be paid of which some go to the company and rest is VAT.
Find the eddycab app here.
Even if you are riding a taxi without any online bookings, this app has got you covered. It is one handy little app that calculates the taxis fare in accordance with the rates set by the government. The app doesn’t require login or anything. You can use this app by either selecting the starting and ending location through the map or by simply selecting the location from the list, which by the way works offline too. Through a complain registration feature you can SMS the taxi number and complain details.
Recently as all of the apps commit to charging as per government’s rules, this app helps to give a quick check on the fares. While comparing, you should remember some of the taxi apps take some amount like Rs 100 for the service charge.
Download Taxi Fares Nepal from the play store.
Also Read: Top online shopping sites in Nepal
This app was released during the unofficial blockage by Southern Neighbor (Chii.Me.Ki.). The crisis of fuel and transportation bound people to offer and look for rides with car, bike or taxi through social media. Then came a popular Facebook group called “Carpool Kathmandu”. Based on the same concept, Fawesome apps developed the “Carpool Kathmandu” app to organize the carpooling through the app, which is now not available.
First, you need to create your profile by login through Facebook. Then you can view the ‘asks’ and ‘offers’ listed by other Carpoolers. You can even create your own route if existing does not match. The person offering ride needs to update your status to ‘Filled’ once your carpooling is over.
The carpooling concept had a nice impact during the crisis period. Now also sharing rides for free helps to reduce congestion and reduce pollution. But these days, there are no entries in the app. This app is only for like-minded people who believe in change through themselves. So start Carpooling People!!
Most of the aforementioned services have crossed the development phase and some of them started to differentiate their services. After the mushrooming of the digital payment platforms (which is still running), the digital taxi apps are on the next trend in Nepal. As known, many of them are about to launch their platform here in Kathmandu.
Compare to before, people like Gen Z have started preferring online booking services and the drivers of all ages also started to adopt due to the ease and more income. So, these apps come as a great relief when in need. There is still a lot of room for improvement; in the case of some, some of the apps still crashes frequently when trying to select the destination point. They also need to optimize their apps algorithm for nearest driver identification and efficient selection.
Bike riding apps are quite cheaper and easier if you want to find an instant ride to your destination. But to avoid the dusty breeze on you, you need to spend some extra bucks for the taxi service. The extra 100 NRs service charge of the taxi will, of course, go down if there is healthy and open competition after the entry of upcoming players.
There is also a big complain that the drivers ask us to cancel the booking after their approval. Sometimes it happens multiple times when you need the ride instantly. At first, the platforms need to educate their drivers well. Later if the riders are found to cancel the ride, in the same way, they should penalize in some way. After all, the availability, the instant comfort ride, and the affordable cost are what people expect with these services.
For now, the best ride-sharing and taxi apps available in Kathmandu goes to Pathao. They have managed their simple layout and efficient algorithm to make the service available as per our needs. As there are people who do not care about the service charge, We expect them to start Express service which is more like a premium taxi service with less waiting and extra comfort.
Now we also wait for these apps, platforms to go beyond Kathmandu City. As there are cities like Pokhara, Biratnagar, Bhairahwa, Butwal, Dhangadi, Nepalgunj, Hetaudha and many more where they have a big prospect, We expect them to expand any time soon.
Well, since Uber or Ola or Lyft are not coming to Nepal anytime soon, these apps are trying their best to fill the void.