Ola which is India’s largest taxi aggregator app which is backed by Softbank and DST Global told that Shuttle will be announced officially on Wednesday. The service will available initially in two areas, Bangalore and Gurgaon (near Delhi), when it goes live on September 21 with 500 shuttles covering 100 routes. Further cities will be announced in the next quarter.
While companies like Uber are on a march to expand into ever more countries, Ola is focusing on dominating its home market. India is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, with a population of nearly 1.3 billion and a rapidly evolving middle class armed with smartphones and disposable income.
Sundeep Sahni, VP of New Initiatives at Ola (who was a co-founder of Rocket Internet’s Lazada before he joined Ola earlier this year), says that the shuttle service will target commuters who might otherwise opt for taking their own cars, bikes or auto-rickshaws. Rides will cost less than $1 (66 rupees), compared to the average $4-$6 price of a ride in a private taxi.
“Millions of Indians undertake their daily commute in our cities using their own vehicles, cabs or other modes of personal transportation,” Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder & CEO at Ola, said in a statement to TechCrunch. “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.”
Passengers, in turn, can use the app to track shuttles on the map, book their seats and pay for the ride.