Oh last mile connectivity, you old Bangalore foe. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) recently announced it would have you at all costs, and tied up with the World Resources Institute India to find apps that would help create systems that take you home from the metro station. “You couldn’t have picked a better town,” we imagine WRI India saying in response. We checked in on three apps that are running cool pilot projects tailored for metro convenience this season:
(Hard) Hats On: Metro Bikes
“Nearly everyone in this city knows how to ride, so we’re not attempting to teach a new behaviour,” explains Vivekananda HR, founder of Metro Bikes. “We’re utilizing bikes to help people cover the last bit of distance.” In 2014, Vivekananda set up a company called Wicked Bikes that provided luxury vehicles on hire for road trips. However, he soon spotted the gap in demand for easy conveyance within the city.
Now, Metro Bikes is running a four-month pilot via a Metro touch point in Byapanahalli where you can jump off a train and pick up a bike to zoom home. They’re also in the process of tying up with grocery shops, Café Coffee Day outlets and corporate tech parks to allow a seamless pick up and drop off mechanism that will be controlled by their app. “The second phase of the pilot adds electric bikes to our inventory,” Vivek says. “We’ll also add a charging area and batteries at touch points.” The helmets will be complimentary.
Carpool Maybe? Quick Ride
BMRCL brings carpool company Quick Ride on board in hopes that more commuters will consent to sharing rides once they hop off the train. This pilot project will not add more vehicles to the road, explains Quick Ride co-founder KNM Rao: “Instead it adds more people into cars already on the same route.” Now when you get off at Byapanahalli and open the Quick Ride app, you’ll see a range of more closely-tailored options than before. “In the revised version of this app, a person travelling from Rajajinagar will be notified of the cost and time saved if a part of the journey is done through Namma Metro,” Mr Rao says. “At the end station, the app provides options of cars to ride in with real-time notifications. This will help you choose your start time and vehicle.”
Quick Ride already has a database of one lakh app users in Bangalore, a great many of whom commute to Whitefield. By October, they estimate 900 more users on that route. Note: Quick Ride and Metro Bike are also collaborating on the pilot, so you might just get to bike home with a new friend shortly.
Parallel Universe: Constapark
Since 2015 Constapark has tied up with parking lot vendors and buildings with surplus parking to provide a platform for people to pre-book and to see availability in real time. This app is trying to help you find parking of your choice close to your station. When we call founder Chetan Chauhan, he’s location-scouting around Bypanahalli and Indiranagar. For example, the Byapanahalli lot is difficult to access if you are travelling to CBD, so the app will show you a free spot at Swami Vivekananda Station, on your route, instead. Chetan also brings us news that the tiny lot at Byapannahalli is being expanded to accommodate 900 cars and will be ready by the end of this month. Vroom!
Bonus: A fourth pilot comes courtesy Tap Route, a project by , the guys working on a jet-shaped express travel model between Bangalore and Mysore. Tap Route is providing on-demand auto and car services to and from your location to the nearest metro station — not quite earth-shattering, but good branding for the future, we assume. Each of their carriers will sport serial numbers, allowing commuters to easily identify vehicles and routes.
“These are all ways to get more people on board the metro and enhance the usability of mass rapid transport,” Vivek of Metro Bikes says.“This will save the city so much strife.” We’ll just roll up our magic carpet and download an app, then.
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