Birds Eye Systems public transport information app Ridlr has launched in Delhi. The app will provide real time bus, metro and rapid metro schedules for the city. It will also help people locate the nearest bus stop or metro station and allow them to download time-tables to their phones for offline use.
Other than Delhi, the Ridlr app works in Bangalore (Metro and BMTC), Chandigarh (CTU), Jaipur (JCTSL), Pune (PMPML and local trains), Mumbai (BEST, TMT, NMMT, KDMT, MBMT, central/western/harbour railways, metro and monorail), Chennai (southern railways and MTC buses) and Ahmedabad (AMTS, Janmarg BRTS). As of now the app is Android only.
On downloading the app users are prompted to choose a city. On selecting the city, Pune in our case, the app displays an option to view bus or train time tables, ‘plan your travel’ and a favourite timetable. The bus schedule option only let users search buses by the number, while the train schedule option lets users look up trains based on starting and destination stations.
The plan your travel option automatically detects the user’s current location and on adding a destination within the same city, suggests ways to get there via bus, train or metro either by walking (to a bus stop) or by rickshaw. According to Ridlr, it uses its database of time-tables to plan this option using the most convenient routes to the destination as well as factor in roadblocks and diversions before suggesting the optimal route. The journey can also be customized using multiple modes of transport.
Other than this, the favourite option lets users save regular routes for easy access. The platform also allows for download of schedules for offline use,
and has an option for users to ‘Hop On’ when boarding a bus or a train. This feature lets users alert friends and family when users get on a bus or train, as well as helps other users of the app know the exact location of the bus or train. Ridlr mentions, the more the number of users “hopping on”, the better the traffic data will get. Users can also share their location via Whatsapp and other social networks.
Overall, Ridlr came across as a perfectly functional app with interesting features, although we could not verify how well it works. On the Play store the app has mixed review, although most of them positive. Most negative reviews complained that the app suggested a complex longer route rather than a shorter option available. Other than this, the app seems like a fantastic option when travelling to an unknown city, while relying on public transport.
The app mainly competes with Google Maps which offers similar services. Google Maps is however currently available in all cities, although Ridlr does have features like ‘Hop On’ which should also increase its accuracy, that Maps does not. Other hyperlocal apps also compete in this space, like m-Indicator which works with Mumbai locals, metros etc and has features like auto/taxi fares, women safety, emergency numbers etc.
Birds Eye funding:
In October last year, Birds Eye Systems owned real-time traffic information provider Traffline raised an undisclosed amount in a Series B round of funding from Qualcomm Ventures. The company had also raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Matrix Partners India in December 2013 and Rs 2 crore from the Indian Angel Network in April 2012, to further develop its product and enhance the scope of its services.
Birds Eye’s Traffline operates in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune and provides traffic information to its users, based on data sourced from GPS in cabs and buses on the city roads. The service claims to let users find routes with the least traffic between travel points with its website or app and lets them request by SMS the quickest route between two points.
Update: Ridlr informed Medianama that it has now discontinued the ‘Hop On’ feature.