June 6th, 2016 by admin

oia outstation

It was all but a natural next step for Ola. As it was already providing intra city cab services, it was better placed to provide outstation services. This will help a lot of people to easily and quickly book cars for outstation travel from Bangalore. As this cars will be managed by a well know brand like Ola, it should also increase better customer service and accountability. This is a god send for unplanned travel and will be definitely enjoyed by frequent travelers / travel bloggers.

How to book your outstation travel on Ola mobile app?

  • Open the Ola App
  • Choose the ‘Outstation’ category
  • Enter the drop location
  • Enter the number of days for your trip (1-10 days)
  • Click ‘Confirm’ and get your ride within 2 hours

Refer the screenshot below to notice the new outstation icon.

ola app screenshot

I checked Ola’s blog post on June 1, 2016 for outstation category launch and found some interesting details:

There are some terms and conditions to the usage:

  • Cabs are subject to availability (this is well known )
  • Maximum expected time of arrival is 2 hours ( This is good)
  • All payments will be made in cash (did drivers did not agree to Ola money!!)
  • Your ride is always billed as a round trip. ( If you are going to travel one way than this is a loss making deal). Refer the app for complete details of fare.

 

  City   Type   Base fare   Per km Charges  Night Charges   Ride time charges
  Bangalore   Mini  Rs 2250 for first 250 kms for 24 hours   Rs 9/km  Rs 250 per night NA
  Bangalore   Prime  Rs 2500 for first 250 kms for 24 hours   Rs 11/km  Rs 250 per night NA

The rates for Delhi – NCR region is lesser than Bangalore.

Rs 8 / KM for Mini

Rs 10 / KM for Prime

Also, the base fare for mini is Rs 2000, where as it is Rs 2250 in Bangalore. Just thinking what makes things outright costlier in Bangalore!!

June 4th, 2016 by admin

ola

I was very thrilled with the launch of taxi aggregators Ola, Uber and Taxi for sure in Bangalore. The app based interface brought ease while traveling within the city.

As in these days of e-commerce, we have the bonanza of discounts and the promoter throws in all sort of possible freebies. Similarly, when Ola started they provided discounts with coupon codes, discounts with Ola money to make people start using their e-commerce wallet, first ride free whenever a new category of service launched. Initially the promotion is understood. However, apart from the promotion their rates earlier made sense. Now a days on many occasions the pricing is hard to make sense.

Let’s take an example of my recent ride on Ola during normal hours (that is no peak surcharge).

ola-bill-june-2016

Vehicle category: Prime

Car model: Toyota Etios

If we do a breakup of cost per KM, than for the first 4 km its Rs 20 / KM. Then for the next 8.98 KM it is Rs 13 / KM.

Also, they charge based on the total travel time – Rs 59.77 for 59.77 min. So there is also a time charge of Rs 1 / minute.

I think here we have a contradiction. Is it fair to run two meters at the same time? One based on distance and one based on time. Ola is charging its customers based on two parameters at the same time. I think, the meter based on time should run only for wait time. That is when the driver is waiting for the customer after he arrived at the customer’s location and when the vehicle is at a standstill in traffic.

Now let’s take an example of a ride deemed peak hours by Ola.

ola-bill-may-2016

Vehicle category: Prime

Car model: Swift Dzire

The travel was done in the month of May, 2016. Notice the peak pricing cost of 1.5x – Rs 170.53. If I deduct the peak pricing cost of Rs 170.53 from the total bill of Rs 541, the actual bill will be Rs 371. I can somehow fathom the amount of Rs 371 for a travel distance of 21.14 KM, which gives a cost of Rs 17.54 / KM. But an amount of Rs 541 to cover a distance of 21.14 KM within Bangalore city looks far fetched. Here, they are charging on 3 parameters at the same time – distance, time and peak pricing 1.5x. Looks like they are trying to make money in name of making vehicles available and deeming peak hours. Also, they might be doing this to lure drivers. But Ola should understand that charging unreasonable price will cost it customers in the long run. More importantly it will hurt ridership during the so called peak hours.

I have observed the peak hours pricing for sometime and noticed a pattern. Now I can more or less figure out the peak hour timings and I will try my best not to travel during these hours unless really needed.

March 16th, 2016 by admin

By the end of February, summer starts in Bangalore and this time by the middle of March it was pretty hot. Last couple of days, it was almost on everyone’s mouth that it’s so hot. Then came the Bangalore special yesterday. It rained!! The first blazing rain of the season.

I remember during my early college days in Bangalore one teacher said, “whenever it becomes very hot, from somewhere clouds will come and it will rain”. This has been the Bangalore of my dream. I just fear how long it can sustain the onslaught of population, construction, pollution and destruction of its nature.

Colleagues and friends were posting on social media that it was raining in their area, while it did not started raining in our area yet. But the cloudy onset itself was so soothing and cool.
On the way to office the blazing rain started. It was as if nature was cleaning itself. As usual when it rains heavily, it creates a horde of traffic in Bangalore. After a while I slept off and woke up only at the gate of the office.

Enjoy some pictures from yesterday. Cheers!!

To view more pictures visit: Travelingbeats Photo Gallery

May 4th, 2015 by admin

Today I woke up early in the morning. Around 6 am, I went to the balcony. There one of our neighborhood Squirrel was sitting on the rim of the opposite house’s 2nd floor and relishing his/her early morning breakfast – a piece of coconut. Yes captured and sharing here.

squirrel

April 20th, 2015 by admin

Skandagiri used to be a much sought after trekking destination due to its mist covered hills in the morning and an amazing sunrise. But that changed after a few mishaps and incidents of crime. Here the cops came in and to stops the mishaps slapped a ban on trekking here along with the forest department. Located at a distance of around 60 km from Bangalore, Skandagiri was a popular trekking destination. Most of the trekking used to take place in the night as done by a fellow blogger Sankara. The full moon night trekking was highly prized one.

The good news is the nostalgia can be relived again with the forest department deciding to open Skandagiri for trekking again. The forest department of Karnataka has prescribed supervised and guided treks. We will have to wait little bit to see what the modalities will be. Whether it will be only forest department authorized agencies or one can hire locals as well, is still to be out. We definitely need to prevent the mishaps but also need to allow professionals, students and tourists to unwind alike.

Let the days of trekking to Skandagiri be back!!

Check some images of Skandagiri from my Travelingbeats Photo Gallery.

March 1st, 2015 by admin

Aero India is a premier aero show hosted jointly by various defense organizations of India. Since its inception in 1996, it is the 10th edition. All the edition of Aero India has taken place at the Yelahanka Air force base, Bangalore. It is the largest air show in the world after Paris air show.


symbol of India’s Make in India campaign

Aero India 2015 was inaugurated by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and the push for this edition was his vision of Make in India. In 2011, I visited the aero show for the first time on its 9th edition. This is the second time, I have visited the aero show. It is a thrill to see military hardware and brings an adrenaline rush when we see wings on fire. This time Aero India took place from 18 – 22 February 2015. As usual the last two days are on public holidays and results in more rush. This year it seems to have attracted more than 300,000 spectators. Tickets for general public are priced at Rs 600 and for business visitors at Rs 2500. But looks like general public can also purchase business visitor pass. People with Rs 600 ticket need to go to the ADVA area and business visitors / VIP pass holders can enter directly through the main gate of Yelahanka air force station. Vehicle parking is available but given the amount of visitors, finding space may be difficult at times.

In 2011, I have been in the ADVA area. It hold a public exhibition of miniature models of various Indian aircraft, timeline of Indian Air Force etc. The air show viewing area here is best for viewing and taking photographs. This time in 2015, I was in the business area. Here one can see the stalls of exhibitors from various countries of the world. They display avionics for business. This includes the top names in military hardware manufacturer in the world. I could see Rolls Royce, Thales, Meggitt, Dassault Aviation, SAFRAN, Rockwell Collins, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky, GE Aviation etc. From the India side was PSUs like HAL, DRDO etc. However, it was great to see many private Indian defense companies like OIS AT , Alpha Design Technologies Pvt Ltd, TATA Advanced Systems etc.

Outside the business exhibition area was display of aircraft and military hardware. Missile launch system by TATA Advanced System (TASL) was also displayed. On the other side was Rafale aircraft team which was distributing Rafale caps and bags. This resulted in a mad rush in that area. I was able to corner two bags. But I wanted a cap. Luckily I was able to exchange one bag for a cap with a gentleman.

By the time I reached Yelahanka Air force station, it was time for the last show. The first thing I saw in the sky was the Rafale sortie. Its vertical thrusts and free fall were a treat for the eyes. This followed by Advanced Light Helicopter of India produced by HAL, Red Bulls air display by the Czech team, Boeing C 17 Globemaster, Lockheed Martin P3 Orion, Dhruv helicopters etc. We left the aero show by 3.45 pm as we had to go to airport. It is located at a distance of 17 km from there. But to get a bus that day was tough. The bus stands has been moved away because of the aero show. The traffic policemen I asked were themselves not sure. Finally, I boarded an auto. But as autos are not allowed inside the airport. Near the airport over bridge, I booked a taxi to airport. Crowd management inside the Yelahanka air force station was good but outside on the road was a free for all. People were just parking besides the road to watch aero show from there. This was causing traffic bottlenecks. While returning from the airport it took me 2 hours to reach home.

Aero India is expanding and gaining name with every edition. As of now it is the largest air show in Asia. With more exhibitors wanting to join, the space at current venue may not be enough. There are already murmurs that the next edition of Aero India may not take place in Bangalore. But the defense ministry of India has not taken a official decision yet.

For more pictures visit, Travelingbeats Photo Gallery.

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