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Taxi apps to ensure you can party hard and have a safe drive home

2014 has been a tumultous year for app-based cab services, with global players like Uber facing bans in several states. Nevertheless, companies like Meru and OLA are expanding and the introduction of features like panic buttons are keeping security issues at bay. We lay down the pros and cons of a few top players:

Uber: It has three categories of vehicles — UberBlack (premium), UberX (affordable) and UberGO (low-cost). Details: uber.com
Pros
♦   Their collaboration with PayTm for wallet payments has been welcomed.
♦   Cabs arrive in time and the vehicles
are clean and in good condition.
Cons
♦   Having to enter
credit card details before
booking a ride is not favoured
by many.
♦   The in-app
GPS navigtion feature can be
unreliable
at times.

OLA Cabs: They recently introduced their Money Wallet feature. Customers can also pay through online banking. Details: olacabs.com
Pros
♦   Keep friends updated about your
location by sharing your ride details.
♦   View the estimated time of arrival.
Cons
♦   Late night service is not reliable.
♦   The app’s UI is not top notch. Data input
forms tend to reset automatically, while a few have faced login issues.

Meru Cabs: This app allows for advance bookings and features a single touch booking feature — just open and tap ‘Now’. Details: merucabs.com
Pros
♦   The app has a dedicated emergency
buzzer system — use the ICE (in case of emergency) feature to send an SMS to preregistered numbers about your location.
Cons
♦   Drivers sometimes don’t receive pick-up
details, even after the customer has received their booking confirmation.
— Karan Pillai