Post raising $400 Mn and being valued at around $2.5 Bn, in April this year, Ola has unleashed yet another weapon against its rival, Uber. Today the company is announcing the launch of Ola Shuttle – a service to offer shuttle bus service to urban commuters.
The service will be launched on 21 September, and will initially cover Bangalore and Gurgaon. The service radius will include new cities next quarter. The maiden fleet will include 500 shuttles spanning 100 routes.
The shuttles will come equipped with features such as WiFi access, air conditioning and in-vehicle entertainment. Ola will source the shuttles from sole traders with their vehicles or from tourist companies with their fleet of vehicles. These companies can integrate themselves into Ola app and source passengers.
Passengers can use the app to scan and track shuttles on the map, book their seats and make payment. The rides will cost under $1 (INR 66).
“Millions of Indians undertake their daily commute in our cities using their own vehicles, cabs or other modes of personal transportation. 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,” Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO at Ola, said in a statement to Inc42.
Sensing immense potential in this domain, various emerging bus and shuttle aggregators have sprouted-up in India such as rBus, Shuttl, ZipGo and Cityflo. They allow commuters to book seats in AC buses plying in various cities using web and mobile app.