Metro Connectivity
Four startups on Saturday won a total of Rs 40 lakh in grants to carry out pilot projects of their respective solutions.

The first phase of Namma Metro has been fully functional for close to a month now, with the train clocking an average of three lakh commuters daily. However, this is around two lakh less than the estimate.

Lack of last mile connectivity has been identified as a deterrent. In a bid to counter this problem, a Station Access and Mobility Programme was initiated by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and Toyota Mobility Foundation in December 2016.

“Strong last-mile connectivity has the potential to improve metro ridership by up to 15%,” Pawan Mulukutla, Head-Integrated Transport, WRI India Ross Centre told The Hindu.

At the end of the seven-month long brainstorming exercise to increase ridership of Namma Metro and in the process, make Bengaluru free of traffic jams, four startups on Saturday won a total of Rs 40 lakh in grants to carry out pilot projects of their respective solutions.

Here are the four suggested solutions:

1.Electric bikes by ‘Metro Bikes’

The company is working with Bosch to introduce 100 keyless electric scooters which will be available on rent for its subscribers. The vehicles can be parked at designated dropping points including metro stations, tech parks and grocery shops. The pre-insured scooters will be fitted with GPS and a crash sensor.

The company has proposed a charge of Rs 5 per kilometre and 50 paisa for every minute of commute. Moreover, the company is also exploring the option of pooling in pillion riders.

Moreover, in order to ensure maximum utilization of its resources, the company has also joined hands with e-commerce giant Amazon and Chai Point so that the bikes can be used by these companies during non-peak hours, reported Your Story.

2. Car Pooling by ‘Quick Ride’

This program will involve incentivising ride givers with redeemable fuel points as it tries to capture at least 900 users at the Baiyappanahalli station alone. The company has also asked the BMRCL for a separate parking bay for its cars.

"People driving in empty cars can instead carpool and share fuel costs. This app will connect people getting down from the metro stations," KMN Rao, Founder and Director, Quick Ride told NDTV.

3. Tap route by ‘Hyperloop India’

Tap route claims itself to be the world’s first on-demand public transportation service. With this offering, commuters can pre-book auto-rickshaws or cabs from the starting point to the metro station and again from the metro station to the final destination. “The best part of it is that the auto at the last mile will sport the same beacon number as the first one making it easily identifiable to the user,” founder Sibesh Kar said.

4. Constapark

This smart parking app will provide digitised real-time information about parking slot availability across Namma Metro stations. For the pilot scheme, the company will manage 1,000 car parking bays at the Byapanahalli Metro Station. The app maker will also collaborate with other last mile connectivity solution providers.

Other than these four startups, which will get the opportunity to showcase their solutions, NGO— CiFoS (Citizens for Sustainability) has been chosen as an ‘enabler’ to provide assistance to the four winners and to ensure a smooth rollout of their projects. CiFoS will also prepare a station accessibility index which will help the four solution providers to tweak their offerings further to maximise ridership.

On Saturday, which was the ‘Pitch Day’ of this Station Access and Mobility Programme, 13 projects out of a total of 80 entries were reviewed and four were selected for the pilot projects.

“We have been in search of ideas. All 13 finalists proposed pragmatic solutions," UA Vasanth Rao, spokesperson, BMRCL, was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

This comes after an initial five-day boot camp from July 3 to July 7.

These four startups which offer unique solutions to solve the first and last mile reach, will be provided space in select stations by the Bengaluru metro authorities, who will also help them with data to finetune their solutions further.