Gurugram, India (Urban Transport News): Uber and Gurugram Metropolitan City Bus Limited (GMCBL) last week entered into a partnership to facilitate the booking and paying for seats on Gurugram’s public transport buses using the aggregator’s app.
This pilot will start with Gurugram CNG AC buses on the top-two routes during peak commute hours. Commuters will be able to pre-book seats, follow the live location and route of the bus, and know its expected time of arrival (ETA), just like they can do with an Uber cab.
“We think this is going to encourage public transportation even more and help people shift from private vehicles to shared transportation,” said Nitish Bhushan, head, central operations, Uber India and South Asia. “We’re really hoping that through the learnings of this pilot, we are able to scale up this service not just in Gurugram, but in many cities across India.”
Bhushan said the partnership will help transporters provide a better service by allowing them to predict passenger demand while giving commuters more convenient options to choose from. “We are committed to building a multi-modal mobility system that serves the commuting needs of all,” said Bhushan.
Based on the success of the pilot in Gurugram, Uber may form similar partnerships with public transportation organisations in other cities.
Bhushan said the firm was implementing the learnings from its ride-sharing business into the bus service. The two routes where this pilot will operate include Badshahpur bus stand to DLF Cyber Park (Shankar Chowk) via Huda City Centre metro station, and BPTP Astaire Garden (Sector 70) to DLF Cyber Park (Shankar Chowk) via Golf Course Road. Buses will run on each route from 7 am till noon, and 3 pm to 8 pm daily. Pricing for the tickets begins at Rs 7 per kilometre.
“You’re getting the affordability of public transportation, but all the convenience and safety through technology,” said Bhushan.
Uber said the partnership aimed to bring a convenient commute experience as it will ensure pre-booked seats in public transport buses, and fewer stops, which means a faster commute and a safer ride as there will be no standing passengers in moving buses. The commuters only need to show digital code confirmation on their Uber app to the driver as they board the bus. They will also benefit from round-the-clock safety support from Uber including having access to a 24X7 Safety Line.
Sudhir Rajpal (IAS), chairperson, GMCBL, and CEO, GMDA, said, “We are committed to improving public transport services and making commuting in Gurugram a joyful and seamless experience… Our partnership with Uber is a step in this direction, and will pave the way for using world-class technology to revolutionize bus services in the city.”
Uber is also testing out similar services in Cairo, Egypt, but the buses there are attached to the Uber platform, unlike the model of partnership with GMCBL in Gurugram.