Despite the fact that commuters in Mumbai have access to a variety of transportation modes, it continues to remain a challenge for daily commuters to keep track of intra-city ticketing and traffic updates from selected routes.Developed by Birds Eye Systems and founded in 2009 by Brijraj Vaghani and Ravi Khemani, Mumbai-based Ridlr, an intra-city public transport ticketing and commuting app aims to heal these woes.
In an interaction with Entrepreneur Media, co-founder & CEO Brijraj Vaghani, revealed the inspiration behind the product and how he aims to undo some of the cash woes of daily commuters in India.
“If you've lived in Mumbai, you'll know using Mumbai public transport can be massively cumbersome, particularly during peak hours. We wanted to make the lives of people plying by public transport easier by providing answers to traffic related queries before they stepped out of their houses. Our digital-ticketing service solves the challenges of availability of exact change while buying tickets, waiting in long queues to recharge bus passes and real-time traffic update and information,” he said.
How this Helps
Ridlr was conceptualized as a simple idea of providing live traffic information to commuters across Mumbai, the app soon evolved expanding their offerings by providing an integrated transport solution to over 24 cities in India. Right from looking up information to enjoying a comfortable ride by booking tickets, Ridlr spans the entire lifecycle of the commuter and that too across various modes of transport. It provides real time information about bus, local train, metro and monorail schedules to assist users and help them reach their destinations on time. It also enables commuters to book tickets online thereby providing them hassle-free journeys throughout the city.
Why should consumer prefer Ridlr over other platforms
“Our app provides a combination of planning and booking travel. For users, planning to commute within the city, they can first check for best available routes, traffic updates and public transport time timetables. Once, they have made the plan, they can then make the travel bookings accordingly. Currently, we are active on select routes on NMMT, all AC routes in BEST and Mumbai metro. We want the government agencies we work with to include booking for all multi-modal transport - cabs, local trains, ferries etc. and make our planning and booking more seamless, so that the user can just move around the city with a single app,” Vaghani adds
Provides information via app and Twitter
The app has recorded a total about 3 million downloads - 2 million downloads for its Traffline app and approximately 1 million downloads for the Ridlr app. Interestingly, the company has about 0.7 million followers on Twitter who use Ridlr for their public commuting needs. The company recently closed a Series B round of funds.
“We aim at connecting people and creating communities to enhance city dwellers’ commute experience. By collating information and dispensing it to their users, we help build communities that can play an active role in contributing to data which should help people have a better commuting experience,” Vaghani said.
Targets for 2017
We plan to get majority of the Mumbai daily commuters on the Ridlr app, which includes about 4 million users of BEST. Once, we have set a strong foothold in Mumbai, we want expand with our planning + booking service to all major cities in India, Vaghani said.
While demonetization has raised concerns about cash crunch, Ridlr aims to solve the problem of daily usage of hard cash by regular commuters and provide them a handy solution.
“... with the demonetization phenomena happening right now and India talking of going cashless and digital, apps see huge potential. Plus internet penetration is exploding in India and internet users are mostly mobile thanks to the mounting use of smart phones.”