How to choose the right Call Taxi (Radio Taxi) in Bangalore – Review, Fares and Comparison

If you had the privilege of taking an auto in Bengaluru in recent times, to be specific after December 18, then you would have been ushered into a pleasant surprise (the word ‘pleasant’ is only for an auto driver). Yes – auto rickshaw fares have been hiked yet again in Bengaluru.

Haggling to arrive at a reasonable price with auto drivers has become a daily affair these days. It may seem as if we are either travelling in an auto made of gold or a road made of gold – that’s exactly how the drivers charge to ply for a short distance of 2-3 Kms. With such instances increasingly becoming common these days, there is seriously no room for respite for the commuter. Whatever regulation is brought in, auto drivers continue to fleece ignorant customers which in turn spoils the reputation of even the genuine auto drivers of namma Bengaluru.

That said, having traveled in several call taxis at Bengaluru, I thought it would be best on my part to share my current knowledge on the same – so that, both your travel and wallet stay comfortable. Some of radio taxi or call taxi services I would like to comment upon include Meru Cabs, Ola Cabs, Taxi For Sure, Easy Cabs and finally Fast Track. I am not aware of other industries, but can definitely assert that Call Taxi Industry is one industry which is immensely benefited from the Bangalore’s International Airport placed somewhere in the outskirts of the city.

Meru Cabs:

A pioneer in radio call taxis in Bengaluru, Meru Cabs stands for reliability and safety. Once you have a booking confirmed from Meru, there is nothing more left to worry, as your cab will reach you on time for pickup – and at times even early.  They have a tamper-proof meter, which cannot be just rigged like your ordinary speedometer.

Meru's Tamper-proof Meter

The only drawback with Meru is the premium price they charge. I do agree that maintaining a huge fleet in addition to sticking to punctuality does come at a price. Meru’s fleets boasts of Mahindra Logan – the comfortable car which can spaciously accommodate 4 adults.  Meru charges Rs. 80 for the 4 Kms and Rs.19.50 for every Km thereafter. In addition to being expensive, Meru also charges night fare (12AM – 6AM). Simply put, this is an additional 10% over the day-time fare.

You could also view the updated Meru Cabs Fares at: http://www.merucabs.com/fares/

You can book a Meru by calling them at 080 – 4422 4422, however bookings done over phone call could attract a charge of Rs. 60 in additional to the actual travel fare, so it always better to book over web using their portal: http://www.merucabs.com/smart or using their app that is available on the PlayStore (Android) and Appstore (iOS) respectively.

Ola Cabs:

In the past, I have heard many people complaining about Ola, but I think they have used those stones hurled at them to bring a strong empire in the radio call taxi industry. At present, they are close on heals with Meru and often sought after when one does not get through a booking with Meru.

Ola-cabs

Ola’s fares are reasonable (for long distance travels) and they have 3 types vehicles to choose from. Their compact  package provides you with Tata Indica at a min fare price of Rs.150 (first 8 Kms) and Rs. 14 for each Km thereafter. Ola’s next package is the Sedan one, in which you would mostly get a Swift Desire (spacious enough to accommodate 4 people – just like Meru’s Logan). The Sedan model comes at min fare price of Rs. 200 (first 8 Kms) and Rs. 17 for each Km thereafter.  The last and premium package that Ola costs you Rs. 250 as the min fare price and Rs. 20 for every Km thereafter.

ola-pays-for-your-flight

Ola’s most attractive offers are airport pickup and drops. Their charges are reasonable, the icing on the cake is they even go a step further and promise to pay for your flight tickets if they don’t turn up on time. That is one irresistible offer that no other operator could ever offer or even think of!

Ola also has runs exciting offers from time to time, you could check those on their Offers page. The fares for Ola Cabs could be checked on their website as well at:  http://www.olacabs.com/fares/bangalore. To book a Ola Cabs call them at 080- 3355 3355 at  or use their app that is available for free on the PlayStore (Android) and Appstore (iOS).

I have made use of their service close to 10-15 times for various trips and am extremely happy with the punctuality they adhere to during during each trip.

Fast Track:

While Fast Track has good stronghold in Chennai, it is still in its infancy at Bengaluru. This fact is very much obvious with the quality of cabs that they assign for your pickup. Not only do they have a proper branding, you end up paying more as you are always billed per the vehicle’s native speedometer (mostly analog and could be easily rigged!). Fast Track’s Call Taxi fares are expensive too, they charge Rs. 175 (10 Kms) as a min fare charge and Rs.15 for each additional Km thereafter.

Their preferred mode of communication for booking a Fast Track is Phone, as the website stills needs a good developer to fix it. Fast Track could be reached at 080-2888 9999

Easy Cabs & Taxi For Sure:

I haven’t made much use of Taxi For Sure or Easy Cabs – but have heard from people they are okay too. I was surprised to know that Taxi For Sure charges a Rs.50 as a booking fee if you travel anything below 10 Kms (smart way to earn money!). However, even their prices don’t look impressive and are far expensive than Ola Cabs.

Taxi For Sure could be reached at: 080-60601010 (Sixty Sixty Ten Ten – remember the Big FM Radio advt.?)

To sum up, below are my recommendations to choose Call Taxis in Bengaluru:

  • If you are travelling within 4-6 Kms (or) travelling in a group and prefer to share the trip cost (or) travelling after a late-night party, then hop on to a Meru (book it online, use phone booking only for emergency – 080-44224422)
  • If you are travelling anywhere between 6 – 10 Kms, go for a Ola Cabs compact package. It will cost you well within Rs. 180 (here too, make your booking online or you could call 080-33553355)
  • If you are not lucky enough and do not get a confirmation in either of these, try other service providers such as Taxi For Sure, Easy Cabs or Fast Track.

If you have any other recommendations for Call Taxi providers in Bangalore, share it with us so that we can all benefit 🙂

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