After capturing nearly 75 percent of mobile app based cab rental market, Ola now wants to make inroads into other forms of public transport – Ola has confirmed that they will soon be launching bus shuttle service in cities of of Bangalore and Gurgaon. The service is expected to go live from 21st September.
Ola has committed to invest upwards $50 million on this initiative. To start with, 500 shuttles will ply over 100 fixed routes in cities of Bangalore and Gurgaon.
The shuttle service is primarily targeted at users who would generally use their cars or bikes to travel to their destination. With Ola shuttles boasting of features like Air-conditioners, WiFi and in-vehicle entertainment, these users can comfortably travel at very competitive rates.
Ola has confirmed that the maximum price for taking these shuttles will be less than one dollar (between Rs. 50 to Rs. 60)
Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder & CEO at Ola, said in regards to the shuttle launch, “Millions of Indians undertake their daily commute in our cities using their own vehicles, cabs or other modes of personal transportation. With Shuttle, we intend to create a comfortable and reliable commute experience for them at the tap of a button on their smartphones. This will bring in efficiencies at scale, for suppliers who will work with us and will help enable mobility for a billion people.”
How will Ola Shuttle Operate?
The service will operate exactly how Ola cabs operate. Once user fires the Ola app, they will see real-time info of shuttles plying on the routes. They can book the shuttle through the app and will need to travel to nearest point on the route to aboard the shuttle. These shuttles are expected to be 12 to 20 seater and user can only book if there are empty seats available!
Once the Shuttle is booked by the users they can choose to pay through Ola Money wallet on the app or even pay cash.
It is currently not clear whether Ola will own these shuttles or whether they will just be aggregators of shuttles, where they tie up with shuttle owners. We are trying to get more information on this and will update the post as soon as we know more.
We think Ola Shuttle can really appeal in urban cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Gurgaon etc where there are plenty of office goers who take their own vehicle. If the distance to travel is especially over 8-10 kilometers, a shuttle service will really appeal to such users as it will be very cost effective compared to taking cabs or going by own vehicle.
Currently, no other company is targeting this segment, and Ola again wants to have the first mover advantage in this space!
If you live in cities of Bangalore and Gurgaon, do fire up Ola app on September 21st to see if you can see any Ola Shuttles plying the roads!