Shuttl in talks with Mahindra, Force for customised buses
Currently, Shuttl aggregates close to 500 buses ranging from 20 to 40 seaters and claims to be generating close to 12,000 rides on a daily basis.
In order to improve customer experience, Sequoia-backed bus aggregator Shuttl is in initial talks with auto manufacturers to get customised buses, developed specifically for intra-city transportation.
“A 40-seater bus is largely meant for inter-city travel. For a variety of reasons, that construct is not suited for an office commute. For example, there are reclining seats on these buses, do you really need reclining seats while going to office? These buses will not have mobile chargers, which for an office goer is important. So trying to improve small little things so that the vehicle becomes more conducive for an intra-city travel,” said Deepanshu Malviya, co-founder, Shuttl.
“Early stages … but we are in talks with Mahindra, Force and all,” he added declining to share further details.
Interestingly, it seems to be on the lines of cab aggregators Uber and Ola getting into the leasing business.
Ola launched a leasing programme through its wholly-owned subsidiary - Ola Fleet Technologies in September last year. It partnered with auto makers such as Maruti Suzuki India and Nissan Motor India.
The concept of leasing not just boosts supply of vehicles, but also keeps drivers locked into its platform.
Malviya, however, declined that Shuttl will directly be getting involved in the whole process. “It is possible that we will get a third party but currently it all is in an experimental stage,” he said.
In December 2015, Shuttl raised USD 20 million from a group of investors including Sequoia and Lightspeed Venture.
In the bus aggregation segment, the company competes with Ola Shuttle which was launched last year and has its services in nine cities.
Shuttl is currently present across Delhi and National Capital Region. However, it has only three pockets (place where commuters are dropped in the morning). All three are in Gurgaon.
The company plans to grow the number of pockets by at least 10-15 fold by December 2017 across Delhi and Noida, besides Gurgaon. For the same, it will also expand its fleet by 3 to 4x.
Currently, Shuttl aggregates close to 500 buses ranging from 20 to 40 seaters and claims to be generating close to 12,000 rides on a daily basis. A daily commute costs a person Rs 49.