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Uber to run buses in Kolkata; partners with West Bengal govt

Uber to run buses in Kolkata; partners with West Bengal govt

| @indiablooms | 22 Nov 2023, 05:42 pm

Ridesharing app Uber and the Transport Department, Government of West Bengal, on Wednesday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch ‘Uber Shuttle’ - a bus service for daily commute - in Kolkata.

With a first-of-its-kind partnership, the new service will tap into Uber’s global expertise with an aim to provide tech-optimized mobility choice using private bus fleets.

The launch of Uber Shuttle will help in tackling road congestion while getting more people to commute in fewer vehicles which in turn helps reduce carbon emissions.

By March 2024, Uber will run approximately 60 air-conditioned buses on predefined routes, connecting business districts with residential areas in Kolkata.

As part of this MoU, Uber has proposed to invest USD 10 million by 2025 in the State and create approximately 50,000 livelihood opportunities in Kolkata in the next 5 years.

The MoU was signed at the ongoing Bengal Global Business Summit by Saumitra Mohan, IAS, Secretary, Transport Department., Government of West Bengal, and  Shiva Shailendran, Director - Operations, Uber India & South Asia.

With the launch of Uber Shuttle, commuters will now be able to pre-book seats up to a week in advance, follow the live location and route of the bus, and know its expected time of arrival (ETA), just like they can do with an Uber cab. This will bring alive a convenient commute experience with no standing passengers, cashless payments, and round-the-clock safety support from Uber including having access to a 24X7 Safety Line. Buses will run on each route from 6 am to 10 pm daily.

Commenting on the launch of Uber Shuttle and the MoU with Uber at the Bengal Global Business Summit, Saumitra Mohan, IAS, Secretary, Transport Department, Government of West Bengal, said, “Government of West Bengal remains committed to improve public transport services and expand available transport options to make commuting hassle-free. Our partnership with Uber is another step in this direction.”

Sharing his views on the launch, Shiva Shailendran, Director - Operations, Uber India & South Asia, said, “We are committed to building a business which serves the mobility needs of every Indian and it’s why buses are an important focus area for us at Uber. We are very excited to partner with the Government of West Bengal to launch Uber Shuttle in Kolkata. This partnership is special as the first partnership of its kind that will bring the magic of Uber rides to buses. In line with Uber’s global sustainability goal, this will help put more people in one vehicle, and help ease traffic congestion and reduce carbon footprint. By giving commuters more transport options to choose from, and creating livelihood opportunities for drivers, we are confident that this initiative will set us on a path of collective win.”

Each Shuttle vehicle will have a seating capacity of 19 to 50 persons. The buses will be run by local fleet partners using Uber’s technology.

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