On Week 1, few opt for Gurugram buses on Uber | Gurgaon News


GURUGRAM: With just 52 passengers in total, most of the four Gurugaman AC buses – tickets for which can be booked via the Uber app – ran on empty seats in the first week after their launch.
The initiative, kick-started on September 9 in collaboration with the cab aggregator, saw four commuters on the first day and five on the second of operations. Its daily footfall reached double digits on the fourth day, with 12 people opting to book the first air-conditioned GMCBL buses to run in the city last Tuesday.

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According to the Gurugram Metropolitan City Bus Limited (GMCBL), each of the four buses has a seating capacity of 36. Around the office hours, all the buses take six round trips every day. Two buses each chart two routes: Badshapur Bus Stand-Cyber Park, and Huda City Centre-BPTP Astaire Garden.
At full capacity, they could have collectively ferried around 1,700 passengers every day. GMCBL officials on Friday admitted that the footfall was low but say they aren’t disheartened as a handful of commuters are starting to take the buses.
“The footfall is quite low as of now, but it is increasing every day, so we are optimistic. We are also working towards attracting more passengers by spreading awareness about the service,” a senior GMCBL official said.
For this, the official said, Uber has already sent out push-notifications to people who live in areas along the bus routes. The first ride under the ‘Gurugaman Plus’ service has also been made free.
Officials said GMCBL is also planning to put up flex boards in residential societies near the bus routes to inform people about this new option for commuting to work.
Under this initiative, commuters can pre-book their seats on the Uber app – like they do for cabs – while being able to gollow the bus’ live location. They will only have to show their e-tickets to the bus driver as they board.
Ticket rates vary according to distance, with prices set at Rs 7 per kilometre.
Though touted as one of the first initiatives in the country to collaborate with a cab aggregator, GMCBL officials said that they have no plans to scale up the project for now.
The reason? An already depleted fleet in the city of 1.5 million people, they said.
Currently, 150 non-AC GMCBL buses are running on Gurugram’s roads, apart from the four AC ones part of this initiative. Fifty other non-AC buses have been lent to neighbouring Faridabad, and another four AC buses have been kept on standby to replace any vehicles that break down.
“Everything is running smoothly on this new service as of now, but we do not have any plans to add more routes at present. This can only be done when we get more buses,” said the official quoted above.
Experts said widespread promotion of the service may be key to encourage the city’s residents to utilise the service.
“The issue is that most people do not even know that this service is there. GMCBL should ensure they undertake proper awareness efforts, including roping in corporates along the route who can help promote the service internally as well,” said mobility and road safety expert Sarika Panda Bhatt.
When asked, some residents also told TOI they didn’t know the initiative had begun.
“I had heard that something like this was being planned, but I had no idea it had already started. I would definitely use the bus service next week, at least to try it out. As of now, I pay more than Rs 350 for a cab ride from my home to office in Cyber City during the peak hours. If the bus service can cut this down to less than Rs 200, is air conditioned and a seat is guaranteed, I would be willing to switch,” said Sanjeev Gupta, who lives in Sector 70.





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