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Uber Explores UberBLACK Premium Cab Rides in India, Again

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Uber has reintroduced UberBLACK in Delhi one and a half years after pulling its top premium cab tier from the nation. People in National Capital Region can now enjoy the premium ride, the company said, though the top offering is unavailable in Sonipat, East Delhi, Ghaziabad, Noida, and Greater Noida regions for now.

Premium cars including Toyota Corolla Altis, Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, and Volkswagen Jetta are being offered under UberBLACK service, which will cost customers Rs. 22 per kilometre — in addition to Rs. 5 for every minute of their commute — the ride-hailing service said. It began offering the top tier cab in the nation last week. The minimum fare for UberBLACK is Rs. 520 and it is only available for cash profiles.

“We continue to experiment with new products and technology innovations that will give our riders a great ride experience and are excited to confirm that as one such experiment, we are launching UberBLACK in Delhi, NCR,” a spokesperson for Uber told Gadgets 360.

Uber, which is celebrating its fourth anniversary in India this month, had pulled UberBLACK offering from much of country in 2016 citing low demand. Interestingly, it had kept UberBLACK option available in Mumbai. But as it becomes more popular in the nation – Uber recently completed 500 million rides here – it is exploring top premium services to enhance user experience, even if only a portion of the user base might avail it.

“Uber has grown its remaining services sufficiently in the interim that there’s now demand for a premium service again from a subset of users,” Jan Dawson, an independent analyst with Jackdaw Research told Gadgets 360. “It’s never going to be as big a portion of the base that uses UberBLACK in India as in the US or certain other markets, but given the size of the overall market in India now, even a few percent of rides might be worth pursuing,” he added.