Startup seeks to standardise intercity bus travel in Mumbai

Firm to start services to Ahmedabad from hub in Borivali

August 11, 2019 12:58 am | Updated 12:58 am IST - Mumbai

A new company will be entering the intercity bus space in Mumbai with the potential to change the way the business is being operated now. The company, IntrCity SmartBus, will be soon starting operations between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Equitable services

A subsidiary of RailYatri. in, Intrcity SmartBus has a standardised fleet of buses which will offer the same set of facilities across the country. Manish Rathi, CEO and co-founder, said, “The intercity bus market in the country is now highly fractured with no one operator having a pan-India presence. We are essentially bringing parity in services.”

Swapnil Tripathy, chief business officer, Intrcity SmartBus, said nearly 5,000 registered bus operators provide intercity bus services in India. He said, “What an OYO, Ola or Uber provides is an assurance of a certain standard and quality of service anywhere in the country. This is now offered by no one in the country for intercity buses.”

All buses, for instance, have a urinal, CCTV cameras and are fitted with GPS tracking devices. The company has also set up boarding and waiting areas at key spots along the route to facilitate ease of travel.

Multimodal approach

Mr. Rathi said over 50 million people travel every day between cities across the country. He said, “Currently, there is a 65% overlap across all routes where both trains and buses run and it establishes the need for a multimodal approach.”

Mr. Rathi said people who travel by train are highly reluctant to switch to buses that run along the same route. “There is a trust deficit when it comes to switching to buses and bus operators,” he said.

At present, IntrCity SmartBus operates in 12 cities and serves over 50,000 passengers per month. Mr. Rathi said they have leveraged data provided by users on to tailor their routes and fares across the cities. In Mumbai, a hub has been planned at Borivali with buses shuttling to Ahmedabad. Mr. Rathi said, “More routes and hubs will be planned in due course.”

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