Hyderabad: For many commuters, using the metro rail service is an obvious choice when it comes to daily travel. One of the many conveniences offered initially was parking for private vehicle owners to make using the metro a hybrid mode of commuting, and to make the overall experience easier for everyone.
However, a major snag persists for those who wish to come to metro stations on their vehicles: finding a parking spot. Not finding a place to park vehicles hampers last mile connectivity. And that is where MetroRide is offering a new sustainable solution that may perhaps fill that gap.
Founded by Girish Nagpal and Kaaman Agarwal, MetroRide has now begun operating in Hyderabad. The service offers cheap ferries to and from metro rail stations in a 5 kilometer radius, or as they call it, ‘first and last mile connectivity’.
Girish says that the idea started with his own dilemma with public transport. “To take the metro to work in the morning, you will notice that the parking lots will be full of four-wheelers and two-wheelers by as early as 7 a.m. I thought to myself that something had to be done about this, and I met Kaaman who had faced the same issue in the United States,” he explained.
MetroRide operates through an AI powered cloud-based application. Regular commuters can use the app to book their rides at a minimum charge of Rs 10. Currently, they are available for hire around two major metro stations in Hyderabad- Parade grounds and Raidurg.
They plan to begin operation in 10 more stations in the next six months, and say that they might soon also bring in options for car-pooling. A commuter can book a ride on the MetroRide app, walk 100 meters to the nearest pickup point and an electric, pastel blue coloured three-wheeler will soon drop them off at the nearest metro station.
“An issue we’re facing with providing our service in Telangana is the Electric Vehicle policy which does not allow for a company to lease its vehicles to drivers in the city,” said Girish. He informed that this is a feature only in Telangana, which has led to the company helping their driving partners to own an electric three-wheeler which they will use on the company’s behalf.
Another aspect they are working on is to bring in more women drivers into their fleet, said Girish. “We have a predominantly-female workforce in Bangalore, but have not been able to rope in as many women in Hyderabad. It is something we are actively trying to do,” he added, saying that women-empowerment is high up on their list of goals.