When trekking in Nepal, it’s vital to remember that public transportation is essential, especially when arriving at the airport. While Uber and Ola are unavailable, alternative apps like Pathao and Tootle provide similar services.
Best ways to get around
Buses and Taxis
The primary public transportation throughout Nepal is bus service. Throughout all major cities, buses are available for use to get from one destination to another with ease. Taxis are another option when travelling around, but they have a much higher price tag. They can be found at all major locations, making it easy to get around the city. Private companies own most buses and taxis, so the number varies. The operators are responsible for providing quality services and a safe journey for their passengers.
Taxi-hailing and Ride-sharing apps while trekking in Nepal
The concept of taxi-hailing and ride-sharing apps is relatively new in Nepal. It was first introduced by Tootle in 2017 and quickly gained success. These apps became even more popular as the number of smartphone users increased, along with affordable data packages and digital payment options. Pathao followed a year later and is Nepal’s most widely used app. If you are planning a journey in Nepal, we have compiled a list of the top three apps to make your travels easier.
Pathao is an on-demand transportation app that provides a safe, efficient, and convenient way for people to get around Nepal. It has become one of the most popular ride-hailing apps in the region. Pathao offers motorbike taxis, cars, auto-rickshaws, and parcel delivery services. With its presence in seven cities—Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Birgunj, Butwal, and Gulmi—it has now become the preferred mode of transportation for many.
Pathao offers an efficient, updated system that collects all the required information—including riders, drivers, and journeys—in one platform. Once all details are registered, the customer can book a ride, which gets assigned to the nearest driver in a few minutes using the Pathao app. The app keeps track of the ride details and gives quick updates regarding the ride’s status.
After the ride, the app calculates the fare and makes payments via e-wallets, credit/debit cards, or direct bank payments. Once the payment is made, the driver and the passengers receive a digital ride receipt.
The efficient and safe transportation provided by Pathao has made it a significant part of the transportation sector in Nepal. It provides an easy and reliable way for people to commute from one place to another without struggling to flag down a vehicle. Moreover, it ensures safety during rides with its strict security screenings.
To join Pathao, you can register via the website or download the “Pathao Drive” app, available only for Android users. If you are an iOS user, you can access the Pathao app directly from the App Store.
To earn through Pathao, you must sign up as a driver and complete your verification process.
Tootle is a ride-hailing application founded in 2016 that primarily operates in Nepal. The app uses GPS technology to connect riders with drivers in much the same way as popular ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. Tootle offers a wide range of services covering the entire local transportation ecosystem spectrum. The app provides a reliable and affordable way to get around, from commute hailing to bike and carpooling. Additionally, Tootle is the first service in Nepal to use blockchain-driven technology to store user data and manage payments. This technology provides users with secure and transparent online payments, data privacy and identity protection.
Since launching in Nepal, Tootle has quickly become one of the most popular ride-hailing services in the country, with thousands of riders and hundreds of drivers. As of 2018, the app had completed over 200,000 rides, with an average of 5,000 rides completed daily. Tootle is also one of the few ride-hailing services in Nepal to provide accessible services for people with disabilities and a corporate ride service for companies.
Overall, Tootle has provided an excellent transportation service for the people of Nepal. Its reliable service and innovative technology have improved the riding experience and opened the door for more efficient and accessible transportation in the country.
Overall, public transportation is essential to Nepal and is slowly becoming more accessible and efficient. To enhance the overall quality of life in the country, the government should prioritise measures to improve the public transportation infrastructure. Meanwhile Pathao and Tootle will provide on-demand transportation similar to Uber and Lyft services.