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Online car hire service Uber enters Mumbai

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US-headquartered global online car hire services Uber Technologies Inc has added Mumbai to its network to take its presence in India to a total of five cities that also include Bangalore, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai.

"Uber helps big cities function better, and Mumbai is going to be one of the greatest Uber love stories ever told. In an alpha city the size and stature of Mumbai, it is often difficult to make an impact in the grand scheme of things. We're here to take that challenge head on," Uber said in its official blog. "During our testing phase, we will have limited cars available - expect longer ETAs (estimated time of arrival) than usual," it added.

As of now, Uber's service is handled through three car brands in Mumbai that include Toyota Innova, Honda Accord and Mercedes Benz E-Class. The basic fare starts at Rs 100, and post-booking the consumer needs to pay Rs 2 per minute or Rs 17 per kilometre, with the minimum fare amounting to Rs 200.

Meanwhile, Uber has officially announced around a month ago. The firm offers brands such as Mercedes E-Class, Toyota Corolla and Ford Endeavour in this city, with basic fare starting at Rs 50. Post booking, the customer needs to pay Rs 15 per km.

Uber

Launched in 2009, Uber is a San Francisco-based technology company that enables users to request a ride any time using its iOS and Android apps, as well as from its mobile site m.uber.com. It is one of the heavily-funded online car hire services in the world, with Google Ventures along with a few other investors infusing more than $360 million in August last year. The company started its India expansion with a launch in Bangalore, followed by New Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai.

The cars are not operated by Uber itself and it is simply a booking platform.

India is already home to a slew of operators many of which have also attracted investors' interest. Large domestic players include Meru Cabs, Olacabs, TaxiForSure, Carzonrent, Savaari, taxiGUIDE and Cabs24X7.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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