"The home – office – home commute is a large part of any city’s traffic and a smart solution is needed to address this," said CEO and co-founder Amit Singh.
Gurgaon-based bus aggregator Shuttl plans to expand to cities beyond its current base of the National Capital Region this year. Supplementing public bus transport through its fleet, which mainly caters to office goers, the Sequoia Capital, Times Internet and Lightspeed Ventures funded venture’s CEO and co-founder Amit Singh said they will continue to add new features to ease commute for office goers.
How is Shuttl performing now, in terms of daily/monthly rides?
Today Shuttl services 30,000 rides a day and operates 600 buses in the NCR. Shuttl continues to grow, because there is a real gap in the availability of smart, reliable and safe mobility solutions for office goers. As an app based, seat-based, mobility solution – Shuttl’s value to the city and the commuters is tangible and this will continue to drive our growth.
We have been successful in shifting people from their cars to Shuttls, and in doing so, playing a positive role in reducing congestion individually.
Do you plan to expand operations to cities outside Delhi/NCR?
We do have plans to expand to other cities in 2018- 2019. The home – office – home commute is a large part of any city’s traffic and a smart solution is needed to address this.
You have leveraged technology such as Chirp (sound based boarding technology for its commuters) earlier. What other ways are you looking at integrating technology on the platform going forward?
Chirp enhances safety and consumer experience. We will continue to leverage technology to enhance safety towards our consumers and efficiency for our partners.
For example, face recognition technology, which allows for authenticated boarding and driver authentication goes a long away in addressing safety- concerns of all passengers.
What steps are you taking to ensure safety of female passengers who use Shuttl?
We will continue to leverage technology and integrate it with all our services to ensure high level of safe guards, real - time monitoring and smart features to enhance safety of our female passengers full journey –including after a Shuttl drop off.
This last leg often requires often requires them to walk alone, which can be unsafe. The home-check feature on the Shuttl app assures last mile safety by monitoring passenger’s arrival at home. We use interactive voice technology technology to do so.
Today, more than 50,000 (35 per cent) of Shuttl’s customers are women and this number is growing fast. Global research has also shown that while men prefer technology-based safety features, women prefer to combine technology features with traveling in groups.
With the SAFE (Secure Anxiety Free Experience) features, which involve face recognition of passengers, how do you look at the issue of privacy? What if a driver or passenger feel uncomfortable sharing their pictures or refuse facial recognition due to privacy concerns?
With regards to privacy, face recognition is like any other ID proof and we need to deploy it to be a responsible service provider. It’s no different from ID check at airport so to say, or a bio- metric feature at an office building.
Where do you see Shuttl in the next year? Are you planning to raise funds in the near future?We plan to add more cities and expand year on year and so will plan for that growth. We believe that the market for structured commute (home-office-home) needs to be met by a technology-enabled, smart, safe and shared mobility solution like Shuttl. As city after city looks to deploy a mobility solution for office goers, we will be ready with our services, and continue to expand and build our business.