gogoBus} is a shared mobility TaaS platform that improves the cross-Indian bus market

This Gurugram-based full-stack tech-enabled intermodal bus platform is democratizing access to technology for fleet owners and customers across India.

India has a bus market of around $15 billion, which continues to grow. More than 200,000 buses are operated by 27 State Transport Corporations (SRTCs) and more than 15,000 bus operators, and this sector provides livelihood to nearly one million people. At the same time, the sector is highly fragmented due to lack of technology.

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gogoBus is a shared mobility TaaS (as-a-Service) platform that promotes end-to-end technology access by connecting consumers across India. The startup helps fleet owners manage their fleet operations with the technology and provides recommendations to help them make better decisions to improve performance.

Tech Panda He spoke to Amit Gupta, co-founder of gogoBus, who says it’s time for an Indian bus platform.

India is a bus nation, where nearly 50% of Indians travel by bus for many reasons. However, on the other hand, the Indian bus space is the most neglected part of our mobility system.

Today in India the benefits of public transport and shared mobility are taught to children from class 5 onwards. “But as we grow, the use of public transport decreases like the law of diminishing marginal utility,” he says.

“India is a nation of buses, where nearly 50% of Indians travel by bus for many reasons. However, on the other hand, the Indian bus space is the most neglected part of our mobility system. Our bus ecosystem is still very traditional, and the integration of technology is driving intercity bus mobility in India.” I believe that’s the only thing that makes it different,” he added.

The visibility, accessibility and simplicity that technology brings is what we need today. The chaos of this unorganized market can be tackled with the help of technology,” he says.

What do they do?

To empower bus operators with their TaaS platform, gogoBus has built an end-to-end application that includes:

  • Consumer Application: Consumers can easily search and book on the gogoBus app on Android and iOS.
  • Swami App: A dedicated app for operators that helps them manage all consumer bookings and boardings and P&L in real-time.
  • Certificate application Driver app for contactless passenger boarding. It controls any unauthorized boarding and is a live line tracking platform.
  • Sati App: An exclusive app for agents specially designed to digitize offline bookings.
  • Miter app An app for assistants and assistants to handle consumer complaints.
  • Sanchalak App: Admin application to provide a high-level view of the overall daily operations

A mandatory issue for buses

Buses are a popular mode of transportation in India, which also offers a very low carbon footprint. Gupta, the inspiration behind gogoBus, made a compelling case for buses over private vehicles.

“It is well known that a bus can reduce carbon emissions by about 50% compared to a passenger car on a passenger kilometer basis. “Imagine how much space 30 cars take up compared to 30 people on a bus, which frees up a lot of parking spaces in cities,” he says.

Also, the focus on private vehicles has resulted in high air pollution in cities in India.

It is critical that we begin to focus on increasing the use of public transportation instead of private vehicles for regular transportation. We are in a climate crisis

“Thus, greater adoption of bus mobility will help reduce air pollution and free up urban spaces, but also make the urban landscape more inclusive,” he advises.

“It is extremely important that we begin to focus on the use of public transport instead of the use of private vehicles for regular travel. We are in a climate crisis,” he emphasized.

“Buses are one of the biggest forms of land transportation, unfortunately, not the most popular. Our goal is to change the perception of bus mobility,” he says.

The challenges faced

A previous challenge that Gupta identified in the bus space was ‘one bus = more vendors’.

“A typical day in the life of a bus operator involves engaging with multiple suppliers to manage the fleet’s maintenance and utilization, meeting demand for downtime on each trip, tracking assets and optimizing routes while ensuring a reliable customer experience – almost by hand,” he explains.

He also said the pandemic has brought his multi-generational businesses to the brink of closure. Covid was a black swan event not only for buses but for the entire mobility industry globally. Gupta aligned the product with its go-to-market strategy during the Covid era as gogoBus builds connectivity for India’s next billion people.

A typical day in the life of a bus operator involves managing fleet maintenance and operation, meeting demand for rest on each trip, tracking assets and facilitating routes while ensuring a safe customer experience – virtually hand-in-hand.

“As the saying goes, adversity brings out the best in people, and in this case it was industry. The situation was slow then, but it was the persistence and collective efforts of the stakeholders that got us out of the situation. Although full recovery is still to come, the signs to date are very encouraging and promising,” he said.

“GogoBus is building a one-stop solution, helping the bus-mobility network with technology. A single connected platform helps these bus operators navigate the best routes, manage daily trip level PnL, maximize trip revenue and optimize vacations through unique omni-channel sales channels.” He added.

Development history

gogoBus raised an undisclosed seed round with Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar from ixigo and some notable angel investors including Rajesh Sawhney (Founder and CEO, Innerchef) and Abhishek Sharma (COO, Dineout). The startup is generating excess revenue per seat.

Success is relative, considering the two-year pandemic, it’s safe to say we’ve been pretty successful. But if we look at the market, we have a long way to go.

“Success is relative. Considering the two-year pandemic, it’s safe to say we’ve been very successful. But, if we look at the market, we have a long way to go,” Gupta says modestly.

“Since the launch of our TaaS platform in July 2021, to date, we have grown 32X at a monthly run rate. It has also grown our platform of 300+ buses to 250+ cities,” he said proudly.

Tech App

Globally, bus mobility systems have seen extensive technological adaptation over the last decade through the extensive use of data models.

“Technology adoption has come in smartphones and mobile data as passengers seek seamless travel and real-time information,” says Gupta.

Technology adoption has increased with smartphones and mobile data penetration as passengers seek seamless travel and real-time information.

Startups and companies around the world have been working on the system. Omio, an online travel agency for multi-modal travel in Berlin, accesses the entire ticketing content of state and private train operators, often using large and outdated IT systems. It works in 10 million+ locations worldwide.

The MakeMyTrip team has invested in the Redbus brand. With more than 3,500 active bus operators and more than 20 government operators, the platform offers more than 3 million seats online every day. India’s software is widely used by operators, who say that as of 2018, more than 36 million consumers have purchased 230+ million tickets through Redbus.

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gogoBus has big plans for the future.

“In India, we are working to bring the 400,000+ buses plying on Indian roads on an end-to-end connected platform to grow this unorganized sector. We intend to have 5000+ buses on the platform in the next three years,” he said.

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