Online bus ticketing platform redBus has introduced bikes on rPool, its ride-pooling platform.
The ride-pooling service, which hitherto offered cars on its platform, will now offer bike-pooling services in the cities of Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune, said an official statement issued by redBus on Monday.
The ride-pooling facility for two-wheelers will soon be rolled out in other Indian cities.
Integrated with the redBus app, the rPool service allows private car and bike owners, called ride-givers, the option to offer rides on the platform.
Ride-givers on rPool are given incentives in the form of reward points that can be redeemed at fuel stations and on digital payments platform Amazon Pay.
As part of an inaugural offer by redBus, the first 500 bike ride-givers in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune will be charged no commission for the first five years.
The bike-sharing facility will be restricted to working professionals undertaking daily commute, said the statement.
In order to improve privacy and address safety concerns, phone number masking has also been introduced on rPool, which would allow users to connect to one another via the redBus app without revealing their phone numbers.
Profiles verified through a user’s mobile number and email ID will facilitate transparency and safety.
Ride takers will be provided accident insurance, free of charge, for each ride. The ride-sharing service also allows women users the option of travelling only with women co-passengers. The redBus app also offers an in-built messaging service for users.
Ride-givers can offer incentives in the form of discounts and users will also be able to avail of offers by redeeming promotional codes and exclusive partner offers, the statement said.
“Indian cities have a large concentration of two-wheelers on roads and it is the primary means of private transport for many commuters. Many car owners also prefer to use two-wheelers to commute as they are faster, lead to lower congestion and are less expensive,” said Prakash Sangam, chief executive officer, RedBus.
The company will look to launch more features on the rPool platform after gauging the response to the bike-sharing initiative, added the statement.
redBus had launched rPool in June 2019, with carpooling pilot projects in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune.
The company, run by Gurugram-based MakeMyTrip Group, started operations in 2006 and claims to be the world’s largest online bus ticketing platform. The vertical launched operations in Singapore and Malaysia in 2015. With its acquisition of Peruvian bus ticketing platform Busportal, it expanded its operations to Latin America, Peru and Colombia.
In September 2019, it was reported that the ministry of road transport and highways wanted the carpooling business to be done on a no-profit, no-loss basis. Guidelines drafted by the government included the proposed measure of limiting the maximum number of rides taken per day to four.