Delhi residents seems to have discovered surge pricing with the second round of the odd-even scheme, resulting in this model of pricing being banned. However, Instago, an app founded by ex-Google employees Nakul Khanna, is claiming to offer a solution.
Instago, being an app-integrator, shows all available options from Ola, Uber, Jugnu, Red Bus and more. All you need to do is enter the pick-up point and destination. It is at present working with 14 app-based cab providers.
“Instago allows users to see the price and ETA of cabs, autos and bike taxis all in one place. This has saved them the hassle of juggling multiple apps in order to piece together this information,” said Khanna. He claims a user reportedly saved Rs 400 on one of her rides.
Instago is still working with shuttle companies to integrate them to their platform, but users can book Jugnu autos, apart from cabs for now. Instago reflects the estimated price next to service, making it easier for users to choose the one with the lowest price.
While Instago does have a lot of potential, it lags on certain fronts. First up, as a loyal user of a particular cab service, I would only need to compare prices in cases of surge pricing (during odd-even scheme, to be specific), and thus Instago needs to do more than that.
Also, Instago does not allow in-app bookings, and now redirects a user to the landing page of Ola, Uber or other apps. Khanna says the company is working on the same and will roll out the feature soon. For other options like Easy cab, Meru etc, Instago shows a pop-up to call the service provider.
Also, we encountered problems booking rides through Instago on Sunday, as its servers were down for almost 5-6 hours. “We are working at our end to increase the server speed and response time,” Instago said in a statement. The app is currently available for Android only, and plans to launch for iOS by next week.
Instago might be trying to solve one of the bigger problems of our times with some big plans, but it is not there yet. It must be able to eliminate the need to keep several apps in a smartphones and allow direct bookings to become a viable option. However, the app will enjoy a good run till Delhi is gripped by odd-even.