[Startup Watchlist] How is technology improving urban transport?Jubin Mehta
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First things first. We announced a Logistics meetup last week and I'm glad to inform you that the meetup is on! We got more than 20 highly focused inquires and come 23rd, we'd get together for discussion around logistics in India.
The response we got for the last newsletter was very heartening and hence for this time, we're again focusing on a crucial problem that faces urban India- traffic congestion and systems that make transport more efficient. There are a lot of startups that help in helping you book, plan trips and the likes but there are very few that tackle the biggest problems at hand- how do we reduce traffic congestion on the roads and make travelling within or inter cities more comfortable. Here are some of the initiatives I like:
Ridlr is a public transport tracker app that helps users plan their bus, local train, metro and monorail travel. The app provides real time information, including delays, about bus, local train, metro and monorail schedules, to help users reach their locations on time and make better use of public transport. (read all about it)
The app comes from Bird Eye Systems, the makers of the successful rapidly growing app,Traffline which gives road alerts to it users about traffic congestion on roads real time. The company has a track record in the area and one can expect very well expect innovations that get implemented and come in to real use.
rBus is a community-driven effort aimed at providing stress-free commutes to Mumbaikars. It aggregates demand for door-to-door rides and then organises the supply to satisfy that demand. Using commonly available technology, it seeks to provide commuters with a point-to-point bus from their home to their office with guaranteed seating and zero waiting.The community is driven by Mumbai based Siddharth Sharma and is currently in beta with about 1300 rides registered (people who have signed up for the services).
We've not been very bullish about carpooling considering the factors that existed in India but we'd love to be proved wrong. RidingO has been doing reasonably well but is a long way from becoming mainstream and there are a few others who're attempting carpooling and with the entry of European startup BlaBla Car in India, there is some confidence building up. BlaBla Car starts of from city-to-city carpooling and I was pleasantly surprised to find 18 rides for a route like Ahmedabad-Baroda in a week's time for now (haven't tried it though). There are other taxi companies in the fold as well who re trying to start a carpooling wing by tapping into the 'office segment'. Safety is a huge issue, especially now, and hence initiatives like carpooling with your office colleagues makes sense. Other services have also started focusing a lot on 'verification' of people offering rides on carpooling platforms. Still very early days but if technology can solve this piece of the puzzle, it'll be another example of how it is changing behaviour.
Well, what do you think about these? Any other startups in the domain? Do let us know by dropping in a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. And yes, logistics startup meetup on the 23rd!