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BW Businessworld

MetroZip: The Story Of A Non-digital Start-up

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The Pune-based Hinjewadi Industries Association along with Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation set up a shuttle bus service called MetroZip
“Daily 2,50,000 employees come to Hinjewadi to work and this number increases every year by 10-12 per cent,” says Anil Patwardhan, president of the Hinjewadi Industries Association, an industrial association for companies based out of Hinjewadi area of Pune.
He adds that there has been no major infrastructural development, road or flyover, in the last five or six years. “There is only one three km long road that leads to the industrial park and it gets highly congested during office hours. Being stuck on that road for two hours every day has become a normal routine,” Patwardhan adds.
In September last year, HIA along with Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) proposed a private transport system to ease the traffic woes of Hinjewadi and the area around it.  They got facility management company Supreme Facility Management (SFM) on board to be their transport vendor and did a pilot study last year. They realised that 30 per cent of the employees were using four-wheelers, 35 per cent would use two-wheelers and the rest used company provided buses or other means.
The idea was to discourage one-car-one-user practice and get these 65 per cent people using independent transport to start using shuttle service.
So, in September 2014 they launched a shuttle bus service called MetroZip. They started with four popular routes in Pune with 13 buses. In the first week of the project 70 people registered on the online portal to use its service, shares Prashant Mohite, Chief Operating Officer of SFM. The popularity of this project grew by leaps and bounds and by December 2014, 700 started using its service daily, he informs.   
Along with that, SFM kept doing more surveys and realised the need for buses at several more routes. Due to the growing demand in February 2015 they started with 24 more routes with 38 buses. In fact, companies like Tata Technologies have shifted all their 650 employees to use MetroZip, shares Mohite.
SFM is also trying to get WiFi and other facilities in the buses to make the commute more attractive and get more and more people to use this service.
Presently, they have 48 routes all over the city of Pune with 74 buses and are catering to 3000 people per day. “From these 2,300 are those that have ditched their private vehicles for the bus,” shares Patwardhan, president of the HIA.
“Due to MetroZip, more and more companies are applying to become the member of Hinjewadi Industries Association,” he quips.

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