Bus aggregator apps can complement a city’s transport infra

Bus aggregator apps can complement a city’s transport infra

By Amit Singh | 25 June, 2016

According to a recent study by the Greenpeace organisation, New Delhi has the world’s most toxic  air and other Indian cities account for 13 of the 20 most polluted on Earth. This should be an eye opener for most of us.

It is also well known that transportation is one of the major contributors to this air pollution (25%) and to our overall carbon footprint. As cities expand and their populations increase, there is a need to provide the infrastructure to all move this population in a safe, reliable and efficient manner. So transportation needs will continue to grow in cities, making its air even more toxic, unless radical solutions are found.

People today, rely largely on public transport to solve their commute needs.  However, when this fails, they are forced to find solutions for themselves. Resulting in an explosion of personal mobility solutions, namely two- and four-wheelers. The consequence is an impact on the overall level of air pollution, accompanied by congestion on the roads, problems with finding parking spaces and an inordinate amount of time spent in transit from point to point.

Those of us who were born and brought up in Delhi can definitely vouch for the drop in the quality of life in this great city.

Buses, have traditionally been the backbone of India’s public transport system. They are designed to carry 40-60 people moving in the same direction at around the same time. However, they run on the principle corridors of the city with limited arterial connections. Added to this is the unreliability on arrival time, lack of comfort, and lack of a guaranteed seat.  Our hesitation to use the public bus also stems from the fact that it’s not a door to door option. While most of us have grown up using this network, we have distanced ourselves from it as soon as we have the means to provide for our own transport. Albeit a far more expensive solution.  Our studies estimate that people drive for nearly 3hours a day when they attempt to reach Gurgaon from other parts of NCR. Gurgaon being among the large  private sector hubs for NCR. So we have accepted this pain as well.

A technology and APP based system like SHUTTL overcomes the inadequacies of the public bus network by connecting the consumer and his bus in real time.  As an aggregator, Shuttl uses AC buses, further adding to the comfort of the commute.  Using the APP, the consumer books a guaranteed seat on the route and time of his choice. The buses are tracked in real time adding further to the safety and reliability of the entire journey. You start closer to your home than any other public service and reach closer to your destination. No parking hassles, no traffic jams for you to navigate. Quite simply, it converts the hassle of the morning and evening commute, to a comfortable ride where you read, listen to music, speak to your family and friends. Essentially eliminating one of the key sources of daily stress.

Shuttl was founded by IIT alums Amit Singh (XLRI, Axis Bank, Jabong) and Deepanshu Malviya (ISB, Jabong) each with more than a decade of work experience in well known companies. They felt deeply about the transport problem and the lack of dignity in the existing modes of transport where people have to sacrifice comfort for reliability for the lack of better options. They left their well-paying private sector jobs to dedicate themselves to this problem and have painstakingly built a team and a product that is slowly but surely working to realise their dream. The dream of a congestion and pollution free city built on the back of safe, reliable and comfortable shared commute.  It’s a solution found nowhere else in the world. A truly “Made in India” initiative in line with the philosophy of Start-up India.

Since April 2015, Shuttl has provided more than 2 million rides in Delhi NCR; supporting more than 15k subscribers every day on a platform of more than 300 aggregated buses. 35 % of the riders are women, further highlighting the safety and convenience of the platform.  Since the inception of the monthly pass a few weeks ago, almost 20% of our consumers have shifted to this; further underlying their commitment to our services. Shuttl’s technology is path breaking. Making it easy for consumers to find existing routes as well as suggest bespoke routes for themselves. Our pricing has always been transparent without any element of “surge” or any adhoc demand based increases.

In April this year, Shuttl  joined the Delhi Daredevils team as official transport partner. It is a well known fact that the DD team uses public transport (bus + metro) to reach the stadium.  True champions.  A vibrant and dynamic, technology platform based service Shuttl fit into the overall philosophy of the DD team and its affinity to mass transport solutions. We were able to highlight the safety, reliability and efficiency of our platform over the period of the IPL.  The association brought us strong recognition and validation among the larger commuting population of Delhi NCR.

Shuttl has always worked within the rules and regulations of the Motor Vehicles act. A strong supporter of the “Car Free Day” initiative Shuttl has always had a dialogue with the government presenting itself as one of the solutions to the problem of mass commute. Recently, the Delhi government proposed to introduce the “Bus aggregator policy” to attract innovative and technologically sound companies to help solve the transport infrastructure problem in the city.

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