Shuttle makes sense

SAFE JOURNEY Passengers boarding the Shuttl bus   | Photo Credit: 30dmc shutti

Driving in Delhi for long distances in chaotic and undisciplined traffic can drive anybody crazy. No wonder people easily fly off the handle with more cases of road rage being reported of late. Breakdown of vehicles makes things bad while monsoon turns it worse. This week’s downpour at Gurgaon resulted in a traffic jam for more than six hours with many drivers abandoning their cars. Take the case of Rajat Verma, the HR Head at BPO centre in Gurgaon who resides in East Delhi. “Travelling during rain was miserable. Unable to focus on work because of exhaustion and irritation I opted for Shuttl bus service for the to and fro journey. With assured seating, I am able to catch up with my work and sleep while enjoying ringside view of the rain.”

Shuttl is a mobile based app co-founded by Amit Singh, an IIT civil engineer which provides commuter the convenience of travelling in air-conditioned buses with reservation during the office hours. Punctual and clean, these buses plying on more than 60 routes –– from different parts of Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad to Gurgaon and back –– have specified halts. “It makes sense to use Shuttl during monsoon to avoid hassles of car breakdowns and traffic challenges,” avers Singh.

Using 85 per cent of road space, cars transport only 10 per cent of commuters but add substantially to pollution, says Singh. “Hence it makes sense to use buses as they are cost and space efficient medium to move passengers in terms of road area occupied and the number of people ferried. This mode is appropriate for high density population cities and towns.” Interestingly, a recent survey states that buses account for the bulk of spending on travel in India, they constitute only a small fraction on the roads.

Shuttl’s buses ––from 12 to 40 seater –– give the traveller to choose between two extreme ends of the spectrum. At one end is public transport, though the cheapest, involves long hours, crowd and discomfort while on the other is either hiring autorickshaws, cabs or owning cars, all of which are beyond many. Singh says travelling 30 kilometre a day at Rs.10 per km would cost Rs.18000 for 20 days. “That is a decent starting salary for an average person so it is definitely not within his grasp.”

On furnishing origin and destination points the downloaded app provides the complete schedule with timings and pick up and drop points. Payment is through Paytm or is deducted from pre-paid Shuttl Wallet. Regular commuters may opt for periodic subscription which offers discounts too. On booking the closest pick-up and how to reach it is provided while real time tracking of the vehicle cuts down the waiting period. Boarding is allowed through the pass issued on booking.

Singh’s says as safety aspect of passengers especially of women is paramount buses are hired only after rigorous scrutiny. “Documents and credentials of operators and drivers are diligently verified including the bank details.” The drivers are trained on using the app, route and behaviour with a refresh course held every two months. “We carry surprise audits too. Additionally we provide incentives based on customer feedback while misconduct is strictly dealt and includes immediate termination.” Singh stresses that the system’s algorithm does not display the slot or route in which a woman would either be the first passenger to board or the last one to be dropped.

Surbhi Parashar who travels from Janakpuri to Gurgaon says before opting for Shuttl she found it very difficult to reach office. “The time in Metro was far too long while cabs were prohibitively expensive. Using this app platform allows to me travel in comfort without any fear.”

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 11:58:12 PM |

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