Bengaluru’s Traffic Woes Could Be Put To Rest With This Office Commute Service- GetToWork!
After topping the list of most traffic-congested cities, Bengaluru’s own company brings to it an innovative solution to ease office commute.
‘Bengaluru traffic is unmoved by the criticism it gets!’, correctly observed by comedian Rahul Subramaniam that left the crowd in cohorts of laughter. While we get creative with humour around traffic congestion, Bengaluru citizens can’t overcome their frustration and it’s justified.
Popular for its ever pleasant weather, Bengaluru sadly also wins the title of “The most traffic-congested city in India” beating Mumbai. The commuters of this city spend 71% extra time on travel as per a report by TomTom Traffic Index. The reason for this misfortune is attributed to the city’s unplanned growth. After being recognized by IT companies, the frothing-lake city fails to cope with infrastructure requirements.
As the city grapples with this problem, the startups founded here have a solution for every problem! Since most of the traffic occurs around peak office hours i.e 9 am and 6 pm, commuters resort to numerous options for public transport. What’s the problem then? Most of them are not reliable, consistent and expensive.
To resolve this, MoveInSync, an employee transportation management company, launched GetToWork, a ride-hailing service exclusively for office commute. Piloted in March 2019, the service has been launched across all tech parks in Bengaluru and will be launched in Hyderabad, Chennai and Delhi NCR.
In an exclusive interview with Express Computer’s Radhika Udas, Deepesh Agarwal, CEO and co-founder of MoveInSync elaborates on the use of GetToWork, using the right technology to scale and how it could benefit Bengaluru’s traffic woes!
Please elaborate on what MoveInSync is and what problems does it solve?
Founded in 2009, MoveInSync (MIS), a pioneer in corporate transport digitization, has been delivering complete office commute solutions and has been a game-changer for organizations and office commuters. Understanding the challenges faced by office commuters, MoveInSync enables corporates to manage their employee transport operations better, and reduce transport costs. We power office commute for over 3,50,000 employees daily across 22 cities in India, Sri Lanka, and South Africa.
Our aim is to use technology to bring efficiency and predictability in the transportation market to solve the office commute issue for companies as well as employees. For companies, we are doing this through four offerings – MoveInSync SaaS, which automates the complete transport management process; MoveInSync Total, a full-stack solution which offers complete management of transportation under a centralized system; MoveInSync Rentlz, cab rental for airport transfers, intra and inter-city work commute; and MoveInSync Bus, a comprehensive bus-operation solution offering companies improved fixed-route planning.
In order to address the office commute challenges of individual employees directly, we recently introduced GetToWork, a subscription-based ride-hailing service for employees to avail reliable, affordable and comfortable rides through an app. The service already makes an average of 30,000 rides per month. We aim to scale this to 1,00,000 by March/April 2020.
What kinds of technologies are you using and how is it helping?
At MoveInSync, we are leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to identify supply gaps, predict travel times, suggest employee clubbing and cab deployments. We are able to analyze historical data patterns to predict the area-wise demand, which has played a crucial role in enabling transport managers to utilize cabs to their maximum and ensure operational efficiency.
Our technology ecosystem has been built with the purpose of ensuring that employees feel at ease during transit. There is a real-time operations dashboard that the operation team uses to monitor and stay connected with all the drivers on duty. This includes automatic interactive voice response (IVR) calls to the driver in case of issues and to ensure cabs are starting the trip on time. We also have a security dashboard, where the security command centre monitors all cabs in real-time and intelligently identifies any risks, such as unscheduled stoppage or overspeeding.
Data is key to making decisions and is used to identify user behavior, in terms of how users book and track rides, and what kind of subscriptions are the best fit. Our platform supports number masking and call recordings for all interactions between drivers, the help desk and riders, ensuring auditability and quality control of all conversations with the riders. The technology helps monitor driver’s compliance and performance across all platforms where MoveInSync operates. This helps to ensure that all cabs and drivers are meeting the highest standards of service and are compliant with government regulations.
What have been your observations and learnings on the traffic situation?
According to the recent TomTom Traffic Index, four Indian cities, namely Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi have been mentioned in the list of the top 10 most traffic-congested cities in the world, with the location of our headquarters, Bengaluru taking the top spot. Operating from the heart of traffic congestion has helped us understand the challenges associated with this issue right at its core and accordingly design efficient solutions to overcome them.
Apart from the risks to health and welfare, high levels of congestion lead to huge costs in the form of productivity loss and fuel wastage. According to our research, Indians spend more than 2 hours on the road every day. Based on the data we collected, we found that office commuters could reduce these excruciating levels of travel time by 20% to 40% (25 – 50 mins) simply by altering their office timings. The future of work is a virtual office space. With the trend for flexi-work hours on the rise, office-goers must leverage such perks offered by their employers, if available.
Although India has a high population density, which is set to continue to grow, we hope that the rise of a sharing economy that also promotes shared mobility will offset the increase in the number of vehicles on the road.
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