How Transport Apps Have Impacted Travel for Indian Commuters

by December 23, 2015 0 comments

– Vinti Doshi, CEO and Co-Founder of
It is said that after the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel was the single most defining landmark in the history of mankind. Five years ago, the daily Indian commuters would have disagreed passionately. The logic behind such whole-hearted disapproval of anything on wheels was quite straightforward – the Indian consumer had given up on the existing transportation solutions. The public commute was too crowded and time-consuming, whereas semi-private measures such as autos and taxi cabs were notoriously hard to come by in case of an urgent transportation requirement. Premium taxi services were often too pricey to even contemplate using on a daily basis.The state-of-affair had deteriorated to an extent where the commuters were willing to pay over and above the fair rates just to ensure that they could travel. Not the most ideal of situations, all things considered. It was the dawn of the digital age and the development of transport-centric apps that redeemed the wheel as an invention in the mind of the Indian consumer.
The business model of these applications revolved around providing viable transportation solutions to the daily commuters by offering a platform for commuters and taxi drivers to connect with one another. Users could now book budget cabs conveniently by simply clicking on a button, while the drivers, armed with smartphones and GPS connectivity, could respond to these hails and offer their services. The fixed price metering approach meant the haggling over rates and journey costs were avoided altogether. Leveraging advanced technological framework, satellite based geo-location and state-of-the-art capacity planning algorithm, these ground-breaking apps led the way for better transportation solutions.
Why travel apps are so popular
There were several reasons why the transportation apps have achieved the kind of success that they have in the industry. Foremost was the technological infrastructure, which married efficient back-end computation with robust end-user solutions. Other things that have really driven the adoption are the convenience associated with using these apps. Whether it was scheduling a cab, cancelling a booking or making a payment, transport apps made everything available at the click of a button. That, combined with the relative cost-effectiveness, swiftness and reliability as compared to the existing booking alternatives, was what made transport apps the default consumer behaviour of the country’s commuters.
But the transportation revolution isn’t done just yet. Having aggregated cabs onto their platforms, the on-demand transportation solution providers have now gone a step further by integrating auto connectivity as a feature on their applications. This increases the user choices by providing them with even more options to explore, making anytime local travel extremely convenient round the clock.Moreover, these transport aggregators are also exploring other avenues related to transportation. Certain apps have partnered with online food ordering platforms to deliver food to consumers, whereas yet others have ventured into the last-mile logistics for urgent delivery. Developments are also being actively pursued that would enable users to share rides with other users going to the same destination and leverage last-mile feeder connectivity by sharing vehicles. Looking at all that has come to pass and all that is still in store, it can safely be said that transport-centric apps have made an indelible impact on the Indian public transportation landscape, and will continue shaping it for a long, long time to come.

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