During their college days in BITS Pilani in Goa, Akhil Singh and Pranay Agarwal saw that a lot of students from the campus went back and forth between the airport and the college. Being in Goa transportation was expensive and hence students in the campus started posting messages online looking for others wanting to carpool or share a cab to these places.
This got the duo thinking and they realised that this problem was just not restricted to the airport or the railway station and as a matter of fact this was an issue faced by commuters in most big cities in the country. They felt that car pooling was a way to solve this problem, Akhil says “Nowadays when you look at a traffic signal you see a lot of big vehicles with a single passenger. This a lot of wastage, in terms of space and fuel and adds to traffic congestion and pollution.”
Cubito was started by the duo as an solution to tackle this nationwide problem, faced by commuters daily, in a small way. “Such a problem needed an organized solution which caters not just to top of the pay scale pyramid but to the majority. Hence an implementation of public transport model on a private transport model was born,” says Akhil.
The solution also wanted to bring in the much needed financial benefits along with the comfort of personal travel. They started the idea as a college project in Goa which went on to be a popular solution.
The service then zeroed down on Bangalore, as they felt it is a city of young people open to change, “early adopters” as they are better known. “The market here suits our model the best based on the study we conducted on some major cities in India. City’s willingness to accept new solutions added to our inclination for the city,” adds Pranay.
Cubito launched its service in Bangalore in July this year and services commuters travelling in the same route on a daily/frequent basis with its shared cabs. “The response from the customers has been overwhelming in terms of the feedback and signups,” says Pranay.
All you have to do is signup for the service, choose your daily pick up & drop points along with the respective timings, days of the week you will need the service and finally the duration you want to use the service for (1, 4 or 8 weeks). You will be charged Rs 7.50/Km for the commute between your destinations.
With more than 200 trips a day and nearly 5000 trips completed so far within 2 months into operations the service seems to be picking up.
Akhil is from Kanpur and a graduate from BITS Pilani, Goa with MSc Tech. in Information System. He started his first venture dealing with bulk apparels at the age of 19. Pranay is from Mumbai and has a BE.(Hons) in Chemical Engineering from BITS Pilani, Goa. He has been previously involved with couple of startups initially, lead the team for Quark, a technical festival held in India, and also played Badminton at the national level.
The service is run using owned cabs as well as contracted cabs from cab services as well as service aggregators. All cabs are hired on customized contracts.
Cubito ensures that all the customers are informed well in advance about the progress of the driver and an upper waiting time limit is set and is informed to both the driver and customers. Also continuous tracking of the driver and updates to the customer ensures smooth operation of the service.
In the future the company is planning to provide customers with live locations of drivers and introduce live tracking of cars, this will ensure better punctuality and easier operations.
On how they keep the pricing low, Akhil say, “The pricing is the result of implementation of the shared model which is basically the foundation of the economics of public transportation.” The shared model of the service ensures that the complete price is being divided into all customers which ends up being close to the public transportation, all this while the customers are able to avail a point to point cab service.
The company will soon be launching their android app which is meant to make bookings more convenient for their customers. More booking options and premium services with customized products like preferred music, newspapers and magazines in the car are also in the pipeline. Apart from this a real time sharing service is also under development which the company plans to come out with in the coming 6-8 months.
If you live in Bangalore and commute to work daily by bus, auto-rickshaw or any other mean, do give Cubito a try. I have been using the service for some time and have not faced much difficulties with it. But there have been occasional delays, mainly due to peak traffic, which is a fair price to pay compared to the ease of travel the service provides you with. Otherwise I am pretty happy with the service.