Shared Workspaces Need Shared Employee Transport

Shared Workspaces Need Shared Employee Transport

Most new-age companies today hold offices in business or tech-parks. They have played a pivotal role in making India a global powerhouse. As per a recent estimate, more than 10 million people have their workplace in tech-parks. These have redefined the meaning of ‘office’. They offer the best amenities for work and recreation, parking and security – thus enhancing the overall employee experience.

While they excel in infrastructure, they fare poorly on connectivity. They’re mostly situated outside the city to optimize on cost and availability of real estate. For companies running office within their premises, providing employee transportation becomes imperative to connect them to these far-off locations.

Though a company may save by moving to outskirt locations, the benefits are considerably countered by the expenses dedicated to employee transportation.

This makes the tech-park less attractive and increases the probability of
employee attrition.

Another problem in this scenario is that of parking which dedicated buses & cabs create within and around the tech-park. This causes congestion and makes commute a hassle for those coming to work there.

The issue persists even for Tech-parks located within the city. Though they are well connected, they cause a massive overload on public infrastructure,
particularly roads.

The high volume of vehicles moving in and out of these parks leads to congestion around their premises, making commute an everyday struggle for the employees.

With these two major issues, maintaining and improving their asset value becomes a challenge for a tech-park. They need to enable an ecosystem of shared public transport for the employees of their tenant companies in order to provide proper connectivity and decongest the roads surrounding them.

Another segment which faces similar challenges is co-working spaces where employees from different companies aggregate. Herein, respective companies cannot provide dedicated transport due to lack of sufficient employee strength. Thus they prefer co-working spaces which provide good options for their employees’ daily commute.

These challenges can be overcome by introducing Shared Transport System which can be used by employees of the various tenant companies without each company needing to provide dedicated transport. The companies can pre-reserve a certain number of seats in these vehicles (buses) as per their employee strength and/or organisational policy.

This model will not only lead to huge cost savings for the companies who were earlier providing dedicated employee transport but will also allow high convenience to the employees – they would no longer be bound by specific bus timing and will have flexible time slots at their disposal.

Technology adds another level of comfort and convenience for these employees.

These services connect employees directly from home to office and hence eliminate the hassle of changing modes of transport to reach their workplace. Quality AC coaches, assured seat for everyone and optional services like food and beverages on board enhance their comfort and commute experience.

Shared Transport System is a new but a necessary solution for Tech-parks and companies alike. However, not all conventional employee transportation companies can enable this. This model requires high expertise in managing the scale of operations ensuring that the services are reliable, efficient and safe.

Thankfully, with companies like Shuttl, this is not only possible but is also running successfully in various cities across the country.


Here are the Shared Transport Models on Shuttl’s platform


Enhancing Commuter Safety🛡️ for One and All

Enhancing Commuter Safety🛡️ for One and All

So far, safety in employee transportation is seen as a statutory guideline that the company needs to implement. However, the rising number of incidents have triggered the corporate sector to go beyond the statutory requirement and adopt the best practices and technology to ensure not only physical security but information security of employees as well.

Let’s have a look at how technology, smartphone, and the internet work seamlessly to meet the highest quality of safety standards in employee transportation.

Kavita works with a leading MNC based out of NCR (National Capital Region). She stays at the far end of the city and hence uses the company provided employee transport service to commute to office and back home on a bus.

A seat for Kavita is auto booked every day as per her shift timings. Driver and bus details are sent to her on the Transport Company’s Mobile App before the start of the trip. Before boarding the bus, Kavita verifies the bus number and matches the face of the driver with the photograph displayed on her app.

Now, the driver starts the trip using facial recognition technology built in driver’s mobile app making sure that only the authorized driver is at the wheels. As soon as the trip starts, Kavita’s ride details are shared with her emergency contacts and they can track her bus as well.

As soon as the trip starts, Kavita’s ride details are shared with her emergency contacts and they can track her bus as well.

There is an AI-based camera inside the bus which automatically detects if the driver is overworked and shows any signs of drowsiness. On any such occurrence, the transport team is instantly alerted and even has an option to turn off the ignition remotely till a backup driver or bus is arranged for.

If the driver is overworked or shows signs of drowsiness, the transport team is instantly alerted and even has an option to turn off the ignition till a backup driver/bus is arranged for.

It is a 90 minutes long journey. The panic button right next to the passenger seat ensures that help is just a push away. Also, Kavita can use a virtual panic button on mobile app secretly without bringing it to the notice to anyone inside the bus. Any panic alert activates the Emergency Response Team which follows the standard procedures to make sure that employee is safe.

ERT has details of the guard, driver, and GPS location of the bus handy to take any swift action. Cases where the employee is not able to raise a panic alarm, alerts such as route deviation, over-speeding, and halt detection can alert the transport team of any danger to the employee.

The bus drops Kavita at her drop point and she immediately presses the de-board button on the app. When trip ends, all trip data is wiped out from driver app leaving no digital trail on the mobile phone.

The paperless operation ensures that no personal employee information remains on paper for unauthorized access. In minutes, Kavita receives an automated IVR call asking for the safe drop confirmation.

Post her confirmation, the system verifies her GPS location with her home location for dual verification. Kavita has reached her destination safe and sound, like always.

A recent survey at Kavita’s company shows that female employees now feel safer traveling in office vehicle and the high safety standards have brought down employee attrition rate as well for them.

Kavita’s ride story may sound futuristic but some of it is already in place. And in a couple of years, this will be the new normal. The only question is, who will be the first to adopt the new normal?

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Shuttl is the new age way to get to work. It’s an app-enabled, on-demand bus service that lets you travel to your destination and back in a safe, easy and stress-free way. Our mission is to take the pain away of commute and give everyone access to safe, affordable, reliable and dignified commute. Download the Shuttl app now and hop on to a super comfortable ride: https://goo.gl/7uHgYs

What’s next for employee transportation?

What’s next for employee transportation?

While transportation for an individual in any major city today has completely changed from what it was 5 years ago, and ridesharing has become a way of life, employee transportation in most places still relies on signatures on pieces of paper and manually created routes with no measure of whether that’s the best path to take.

Oftentimes, in large-scale operations, it is even difficult to know for sure if a trip was actually run or not, whether employees are actually using the company provided service or is it going to waste.

Lack of organization and transparency usually means that industry is ripe for disruption through technology.

As ride-sharing continues its move towards becoming the de-facto mode of transportation in dense urban centers and cars evolve to be “computers on wheels”, there will be multiple avenues where technology will bring in transparency, efficiency, and reliability.

Here are some things that are uniquely enabled by technology to make employee transportation safer, more comfortable and efficient:

Safer

Limited mobility remains a crippling constraint to increased participation of women in the workforce in India.

The lack of safe commute options can severely restrict the participation of women in the workplace.

According to the Census (2011), women represent only 15% of people traveling to work, much below the not-so-great national average of 22%.

At Shuttl, women represent 40% of all our passengers, almost twice the national average.

This abysmal condition could be changed by improving the levels of safety for transportation. Thanks to the omnipresent GPS devices, companies can now track all vehicles and quickly know if something goes wrong. These days, any given vehicle not only has a GPS device but also a smartphone with the driver and the passenger.

These multiple redundancies significantly reduce the chances of a vehicle “disappearing” anytime during a journey.

Automated routing ensures that no female employee is alone in a cab while also minimizing the travel time for employees and the cost for companies.

Boarding/de-boarding tracking ensures that the admin staff is always aware of a female employee’s whereabouts and can quickly act in case something seems off.

Safety features like
SOS button, Share Ride Details & Home-check enable Shuttlrs to keep calm on their daily commute.


Employees always have an option to raise an emergency alert available to them. In addition to a government-mandated physical panic button, the app being used by an employee for availing company transport could have an SOS button that can be used in case of an emergency.

Lastly, since all of this data is being recorded by the employer, this information can easily be shared with trusted family members, especially of the female employee, to help them with ease of mind while they are traveling to/from work. 

More efficient

Technology allows employee transportation to be more efficient in a way that would have been impossible with the old paper trail. There are basically two ways the cost of employee transportation can be reduced:

  •  By reducing the cost per seat

Routing algorithms available now reduce the cost per seat by reducing the number of kilometers that are run for the same number of employees.

Early application of machine learning helps to understand city specific routing peculiarities based on past routing data and continuously improving routes.

Moving people from cars to buses during the day is another shift that becomes easy through technology.

  • By reducing the number of empty seats. 

In the past, the idea of running a bus would seem like a big decision for any company because of the possible downside of seats running empty, which would take away all the efficiency gains achieved from running a larger vehicle.

The average occupancy in corporate transportation is 65%, whereas we run our entire fleet at an average occupancy of over 85%.

Combining employees across companies to ensure a higher occupancy would lead to an immediate 20% reduction in costs for transportation.

Multiple companies running their employee transportation on one platform would allow them to share vehicles to ensure that empty seats do not remain a major problem.

Companies would soon be able to reserve a few seats for their employees on a commuter bus running for the general public. Hence, drastically reducing their per employee cost of transportation by only paying for the seats that they use.

Greener

Since the primary source of cost in an employee transportation scenario is the cost of running a vehicle, any reductions in the cost would lead to a reduction in the carbon footprint of running the operation. And if you bring in electric vehicles into the mix, the green proposition becomes even larger.

A switch from regular cab to EV instantly leads to 50% reduction in CO2 emissions. The number can also go up to 90%.

Improved employee experience

Historically, any problems occurring during day-to-day operations have been resolved only after they have been reported by the driver or the employee.

GPS-based alerts allow us to provide more proactive alerts before an issue arises so that someone can take action on them before something goes wrong.

As every moving vehicle continues evolving towards a ‘computer on wheels’ future, technology will continue to play an increasingly greater role in dictating how employee transportation can be made more comfortable for employees while solving for greater efficiency.

For example, ETAs of vehicles can help you know if a vehicle is going to be late for a particular shift and if it would be better to give a replacement.

Knowing your daily trends and the availability of buffer vehicles nearby, the transportation management platform could easily recommend a replacement vehicle for you.

Alerts like overspeeding, stopping for too long, route deviation, etc. could be directly shown to the driver on his app instead of someone in the admin having to always keep an eye on his location and call a driver to ensure compliance.

Shuttl is dedicated to helping clients get the best in technology and fleet quality.

Shuttl is dedicated to helping clients get the best in technology and fleet quality for an impeccable commute experience for employees and great value to the employers.

When in Aizawl, ​do not blow ​the ​horn!

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Stuck in traffic and getting subject to the constant blaring of horns? On the road amidst chaos and being greeted by all the noises? Honking is one of the biggest causes of noise pollution. Drivers honk while commuting to display their urgency, frustration, discontentment, and displeasure. Honking has become an extension of feelings on the road.

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It is embedded in the behaviour and road traffic culture of our country. Despite various campaigns being run to avoid it, the situation has not changed in most of the Indian cities. Noise pollution can cause headaches, hypertension and various other cardiovascular diseases. In India, where the traffic movement is slow and chaotic, stress and irritability can cause hostility and even road rage. These risks are more pronounced for the citizens of Delhi-NCR and Mumbai.

A 2017 World Economic Forum report states that Delhi is the 2nd noisiest city in the world. It is followed by Cairo and Mumbai, ranking 4th on the list.[i] A recent study by Mimi Hearing Technologies GmbH- digital hearing app founders- found that “the average city dweller has a hearing loss equivalent to 10-20 years older than their actual age. Citizens of Delhi have the most, with a hearing age of 20 years older.” [ii]

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But, Aizawl, the capital city of Mizoram, has become the first Indian city to adopt a ‘No Honking’ policy. This is an organic citizen initiative and hasn’t been legislated or implemented by the authorities. Despite this, there has been a huge and positive response by the citizens who are responding to this change enthusiastically.

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What can we learn from this?

Noise pollution caused by incessant honking can be tackled in two ways. First and the foremost is to bring a behavioural change in the society where people consciously take the decision to shift towards no honking, as we witness in Aizawl. People respect and follow the rules and maintain traffic discipline.

However, sometimes honking becomes the necessary evil as road traffic gets bad with the excessive number of vehicles on the roads. For instance, the data collected till May 2017 from Delhi’s transport department mentions that there are 10,567,712 registered vehicles in Delhi. The majority of these vehicles are two-wheelers – 6,648,730, followed by the registered cars which are 3,172,842 in number. [iii] These statistics raise concern over the number of vehicles on roads and the ensuing noise pollution caused by them. As a result, there is a need to bring a structural change in the urban transportation.

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Shared bus mobility is the most efficient and environment-friendly way to move millions of commuters through congested cities and consequently, control the noise levels on the roads. A 2012 study by IIT Madras states that the average occupancy in buses is 20 whereas the average occupancy in cars and two-wheelers is only 2.2 and 1.2 persons, respectively. The study further mentioned that the buses are the most popular means of transport that cater to 60% of Delhi’s total demand.[iv]

Shuttl ’s app-based smart bus service is dedicated to providing shared mobility solutions to commuters. Shuttl’s bus-based model encourages a shift away from private vehicle ownership to equitable, affordable, and accessible smart mobility solutions. It also showcases the role of the private sector in contributing to and transforming the way urban commuters travel.

That is why increasing the role of shared mobility through the contributions made by both the public and private sector have the potential to make Indian cities safer and noise-free.

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References

[i]https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/03/these-are-the-cities-with-the-worst-noise-pollution/

[ii]http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/file/Delhi%E2%80%99s%20ambient%20noise%20levels%20influenced%20by%20traffic%20flow.pdf

[iii]https://scroll.in/latest/839608/delhi-has-more-than-one-crore-registered-vehicles-data-reveals

[iv]http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31808&articlexml=Traffic-chaos-costs-Rs-60000cr-annually-05022017005017, http://www1.m.businessinsider.in/delhites-wasted-rs-60000-crorea-year-by-standing-in-traffic/articleshow/56981744.cms

 

A Celebration of Technology & Innovations

Creativity and love for problem-solving are the two key ingredients of the great ideas/products. We @ Shuttl have been solving a lot of Real-World problems related to daily commute and provide our customers, a world-class experience with the best use of these ingredients. The last time we had Hackathon @ Shuttl, we found some very cleverly thought products which went to production and helped us in many ways. Lots of techies and non-techies collaborated to make, break & hack things.

Machine Learning (ML) is an old concept which is finding its real meaning these days.

Living-up to the tradition, we thought of organizing Volume-2 of the Shuttl Hackathon as the team was pretty excited to implement some crazy ideas. A whole week was spent in forming teams and brainstorming for THE idea. We noticed that many things which we used to do a short while ago, are now automated. Machine Learning (ML) is an old concept which is finding its real meaning these days. Google recently demonstrated lots of new products and service using this SciFi-ish concept. As a result, this Hackathon was flooded with ideas using ML.

All minds were riding on musical waves but, fully-focused on their problem statements.

On “the” day, the enthusiasm was on the peak and all pumped-up minds started working on their ideas. Discussions and laptop keyboard sounds filled the air and one of the participants took up the responsibility as the in-house DJ! All minds were riding on musical waves but, fully-focused on their problem statements. Some folks were so enthusiastic that they not only worked on their own idea but also helped others.

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After a 24 hrs long marathon coding session, people rested with lot of awesomeness on the table. The freshness of the idea, proposed solution, and wholesome implementation were the measures for the best and it was damn difficult to say which idea was better. There were some amazing implementations around Machine Learning like Smart Mails Classifier (automatically classifies complain emails into relevant categories), Math Assistant For Dyscalculia (a learning platform for people having Math Learning Disabilities), Blind Sight (enables blind and visually impaired people to identify objects through their phone camera) etc. Shuttl Video was an implementation to enhance the in-bus experience of the user by providing some entertaining videos and also exploring the possibilities around a new form factor. Shuttl:Time provided the platform for networking with the co-passengers of the bus based on the shared interests and the proposed solution was not limited to buses. However, the center of attraction was Shuttl Keyboard developed for iOS app to show ETA or other important information while keyboard being used in other apps.

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Excitement and enthusiasm of all Shuttlrs show that the Shuttl Hackathon Vol-2 repeated its past success. The implementations were so complete that most of these ideas will become reality (will go to production) soon. Technology is giving us many opportunities and such Hackathons are brilliant platforms to leverage it.

-Nitish Bhardwaj

Team Shuttl

Shuttl Premier League ( SPL )

Shuttl Premier League ( SPL )

At Shuttl, we always balance work and play & this time we decided to launch our own cricketing league a-la IPL style! We have had sports days before, but we added days of meticulous planning & a gradual build up to this cricket-specific league called Shuttl Premier League (SPL). Player auctions were scheduled a week before the tournament, and captains were assigned. They were given a chance to choose their own team, subject to a budget cap of virtual money. Each player was worth a certain amount of that virtual money which was decided on the basis of the self-assessment of the players. A high energy auction followed, which involved a lot of cross-bidding and high-intensity, competitive negotiations, something that comes naturally to Shuttlrs.

The week that followed was full of excitement, with newly made teams using chai breaks to strategize. Since most of the cricket teams were across the various functional teams in Shuttl, a lot of new bonds were formed. Sledging was taken to a level that would put the Australian cricket team to shame 🙂

Continue reading “Shuttl Premier League ( SPL )”