BluSmart Mobility: BluSmart Mobility unveils new pricing policy for rush, relaxed hours

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Electric vehicle (EV) ride-hailing startup BluSmart Mobility has implemented a new pricing structure to cater to different times of the day, introducing two distinct slots known as ‘Rush Hours’ and ‘Relaxed Hours’. As the names suggest, charges during rush hours will be higher (around 30%) compared to relaxed hours.

This is BluSmart’s first move away from having no differential fares, which it has marketed as a unique selling proposition against larger competitors Uber and Ola. The incumbents operate with a dynamic surge-pricing system that raises and lowers cab fares on the basis of demand and supply. Against this, while BluSmart has introduced a new fare system for rush hours, it continues to operate on the basis of a distance-based standard fare chart.

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In a notification to users, BluSmart said, “During these specified rush hours, you’ll notice a slight increase in fares as there’s increased traffic that might lead to longer trip durations. By slightly adjusting the fares for these hours, we aim to enhance the availability and reliability of rides.”

The updated pricing policy, effective from January 8, 2024, defines rush hours for city rides as the morning hours (8.30 AM to 10.30 AM IST) and evening hours (5.30 PM to 8.00 PM IST). For airport rides, rush hours are specified as 3.30 AM to 6.30 AM IST (city to airport) and 9.00 PM to 1.00 AM IST (airport to city).

Also read | How BluSmart plans to fight Uber, Ola in EV cab biz; Spacecom policy notification soon

“To uphold our commitment to fare transparency, BluSmart has introduced a fixed pricing structure for different times of the day for our customers. This change is a strategic move to align with industry benchmarks. Our new pricing policy ensures that our customers pay what they see on the app, maintaining fairness and consistency,” said Anirudh Arun, cofounder, and chief operating officer of BluSmart, in response to a query from ET.

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The company further noted that the rush hour pricing will be applicable exclusively on weekdays (Monday to Friday) for city rides, and on all days of the week for airport rides. In October, ET had reported that
BluSmart tweaked its fare model with an aim to expand its user base. At the time, the company had reduced the range of its fare slabs from 5km to 3km.

On December 21, the Gurugram-based startup raised $24 million, equivalent to around Rs 200 crore, in fresh capital from existing investors, founders, and the leadership team.

In another round in May, when it raised $42 million, nearly 50% of the funding came from subscriptions by the company’s six founders – Anmol Singh Jaggi, Punit Goyal, Anirudh Arun, Tushar Garg, Rishab Sood, and Rahul Jain.

BluSmart operates in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) and Bengaluru with a fleet of 5,500 cabs. The company aims to expand its operations to nearly 8,000 EVs across Delhi NCR and Bengaluru by next year.

Also, BluSmart owns and operates more than 4,000 EV chargers situated across 34 hubs. The company has plans to commercialise its charging infrastructure in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru by making it accessible to other EV owners and fleet operators for charging purposes, as reported by ET earlier.

On September 5, 2023, BluSmart said it had surpassed an annual revenue run rate of Rs 400 crore. However, the company is yet to file its financials with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) for FY23.

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