Shuttle service ZipGo has launched a bus service for women in Delhi NCR, on a membership basis, to reduce the use of personal vehicles and provide mass transport for daily commute, reports YourStory. Women also make up a significant chunk of the travelers in Delhi, prompting the company to launch this service.

ZipGo buses leave every 30 minutes from Monday to Friday from 8-10am and 6-8pm. The service piloted in Gurgaon, Dwarka and Manesar, with plans to expand to Noida and Greater Noida next month. New users get free rides worth Rs 100, while referrals get Rs 250, as introductory promotions. ZipGo’s buses are air conditioned, and have a tracking facility.

Stage carrier permits needed: In September, ZipGo was unable to ply buses in Bangalore, where it ran 12 seater cabs in certain routes, due to lack of the stage carrier permit. At that time, 5 of its buses were seized by Bangalore’s Transport Department, where it offered a fixed charge for its services. A stage carrier permit is required for vehicles which have a carrier capacity of more than 6 people excluding the driver, and collect travelling fees from the passengers. The permit is given only for particular routes after the study of traffic flow and demand, and one is needed for every route where the vehicle plans to operate.

ZipGo was founded by Jitender Sharma, Gaurav Agarwal (both of whom started TaxiPixi, a radio taxi aggregator in 2013 and is operational in India, UAE, Egypt, Turkey etc), Neeraj Paliwal and Pritesh Gupta this year. On the ZipGo app, users can view all the routes that ZipGo plies in, real time ETA of buses, seat availability, seat reservation and real time bus tracking. After booking a seat, users need to show their boarding pass to the ZipGo staff and board the bus.

The company had 25 employees as of September. According to YourStory, the company aggregates buses, does background checks, documentation, police verification along with work history of drivers and an interview process. The drivers are also trained in etiquette and behaviour.

Developments in the sector:

– In September, online cab aggregator Ola added bus shuttle services to its platform, which at that time were available only in Bangalore and Gurgaon. Ola claimed to have 500 shuttles covering 100 routes in these cities. Earlier this month, it acquired Geotagg, a company which provided transport solutions across web, mobile and kiosks, especially for public transportation, for an undisclosed amount.

– In January, radio taxi provider Meru Cabs launched Meru Eve, a cab service for women passengers, with women drivers in NCR. Meru claimed to have the Himmat app, Delhi Police tie up and a panic buzzer with pepper sprays etc in the cab.

– Other players in the women’s cab services include G Cabs, Priyadarshini Taxis and Viira Cabs.

Image Credit: Ramesh NG