In a city where public transports are its lifelines, hassle-free travel is a dream for commuters. Working towards this direction, some technology start-ups have come up with services to fill the gaps and shortcomings felt by commuters using public conveyance.
Jerin Venad, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, has started a parallel bus service, Cityflo, to facilitate office commute, and it seems to have become a preferable mode of transport for many. Cityflo helps people commute point to point.
One just needs to pre-book a seat through a mobile application to enjoy the service of the air-conditioned buses. The GPS-enabled service lets commuters know the position of the bus, bringing down the waiting time.
“Before beginning this form of transport, our research indicated of the increasing purchasing power of commuters. We understood that today it is not the extra amount of money but convenience and efficiency of the service that people demand,” says Jerin.
rBus is another service in the same sector. It’s a bus aggregator designed to make commute easier for office-goers.
Siddharth Sharma, creator of the service, says, “Though we have just started as for now, our plus point is the combination of technology with the requirement of commuters. Commuters who either had to rely on personal conveyance or paid exorbitant prices for cab rides have preferred our service. We are small as of now, but we believe there is potential.”
However, for Kunal Advani, it is reaching the destination on time and the relief from driving through crowded roads that made him opt for the service.
“These buses offer comfort and moreover it’s a dedicated bus service from my office to home and vice versa. As I do not like to travel by train, public buses or other modes of transport, I would initially take my car around. However, with the reserved seat concept and efficient customer support, I prefer commuting by this,” he says, claiming to have been using rBus for over a year now.
Ferrying commuters at a starting rate of Rs 3-3.5/km, these entrepreneurs claim to be charging competitive rates,
keeping in mind the cost of a ride in the air-conditioned Brihanmumbai Electric Supply Transport (BEST) buses.
“We have designed our routes in such a way that our pick-up locations and stops are meant to satisfy public demand. If a particular spot does not see much demand, we have also scrapped it from the route. In addition to that, we also try adding more routes. For example, our air-conditioned bus service from Sakinaka Metro station to Powai commercial hub was a hit due to the high demand for the route,” says Jerin.
The service providers now aim to increase the supply of buses and services to meet more commuter demand. “As we
grow, the aim will be to have more routes and commuters and more dedicated services,” says Siddharth.
“The aim remains to get the city flowing with minimum traffic, be it any condition,” adds Jerin.