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March 25th, 2019
Two out of three frequent users of shared mobility services consider ride-hailing more economical than owning a car.
As ride-hailing and ride-sharing grow popular in digital urban India, Counterpoint Research’s first of its kind, Shared Mobility Survey – India offers interesting and unique insights into India’s emerging shared mobility sector.
Shared mobility generates a lot of anecdotal discussions, for various right and wrong reasons. The associated hype does make it difficult to understand the fundamental dynamics of the sector. To bring greater clarity to the real-world situation, Counterpoint Research conducted a first of its kind, primary consumer survey through an online platform. We surveyed a randomly selected group of 800+ respondents, who are smartphone users, across Tier I, II, and III cities in India.
The survey confirms the changing attitudes and behaviour of Indian mobility customers, having examined their detailed usage patterns, preferences, and key pain-points while availing ride-hailing services. In addition, respondents have also offered a glimpse of their thoughts on the future of shared mobility in India and the importance of car ownership for them.
Discussing the findings, Vinay Piparsania, Research Director Smart Automotive at Counterpoint Research said, “Evidently, challenges of rapid urbanization, traffic congestion, and affordability are the primary driving forces behind digital savvy Indians re-imagining their mobility requirements. Emerging ride-sharing technologies and self-drive alternatives are at the core of an emerging disruption in India’s mobility. Two out of three frequent shared mobility commuters surveyed have smartly concluded that ride-sharing economics beats the costs of car ownership”
Here are some of the Key Insights from the survey:
- Majority of frequent users considered ride-hailing to be more economical than owning a car
- This is especially true for the salaried middle-class segment, where nearly two in every three frequent users considered ride-hailing more economical than owning a car.
- Two out of three ride-sharing/ride-hailing users avail the service at least once a week, confirming a high potential market for ride-hailing services to grow in the country
- Avoiding traffic congestion came across as the prime reason for using ride-sharing/ride-hailing services. Other major factors include no bargaining required and quick/convenient availability.
- The southern region has the highest awareness of ride-hailing services, followed by middle, western and north India. Eastern region has the lowest awareness of ride-hailing services.
- Ride-sharing/Ride-hailing services are most frequent for mid-distance (10-20KM) travel, with close to half of the respondents confirming their preference for this range
- Use of such services for long distance travel (>20Km) was more common in the Eastern and Southern India region.
On the findings about the awareness of shared mobility services across India, Vinay added, “The relatively lower penetration of shared mobility in Tier 2 cities presents a significant opportunity for shared mobility providers to now expand into these towns and cities. As the survey findings reveal, close to two in every three respondents would ‘most likely’ or ‘surely’ avail ride-hailing/ride-sharing services, if these were available in their area. Not surprisingly, consideration of alternate shared mobility services such as car-sharing (roughly one out of two) and car renting (about one out of three) are also gaining interest.”
A key unique insight of the survey has been on the preferred travel distance among users for considering shared mobility services. Commenting on this conclusion, Aman Madhok, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint Research said, “10-20 kms per trip is the ‘sweet spot’ travel distance most favoured for considering ride-hailing options. Personal vehicles are considered more convenient and cost-effective for shorter distances. For longer distances, people surveyed indicated their preference to use either their own vehicle or public transport, on account of the higher costs currently associated with ride-hailing services.
Commenting on the areas where such services needed to improve and address, Pavel Naiya, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint Research added, “Safety remains key for female users looking to use shared mobility services, as one in every two female commuters rated safety as the most important parameter when deciding upon her transportation option. Around two out of five females who frequently use public transportation highlighted safety as the dominant issue for non-usage and low consideration of ride-hailing/ride-sharing services.”
The findings of the survey also disclosed that long wait times, professionalism of drivers and cleanliness of vehicle are major bottleneck areas for ride-sharing/ride-hailing services to overcome, in order to get more users.
Exhibit 1: Travel Distance Preference of Shared Mobility Users
This is a primary consumer survey conducted by Counterpoint Technology Market Research through an online platform. The survey selected a random sample of 800+ respondents, who are also smartphone users, across Tier I, II, and III cities in India. This is consistent with the current shared mobility service usage pattern in the country. The survey focuses on four-wheeler share mobility services like car sharing, hailing service, with their higher availability, popularity, and large user base. The comprehensive and in-depth analysis is available for clients subscribing to the Consumer Lens Program.
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