Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 26th July 2012, 14:37   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 84
Thanked: 201 Times
Default Shuttle-Cars : An alternative to owning a 2nd Car

Is your second car really necessary? It is apparently not, if the Delhi based car-and-driver sharing agency, Shuttle-Cars have their say.

The service, which was launched in March this year, has been positioned as a replacement for the ‘second car’ of the house which is used infrequently.

What is it?

Simply put, Shuttle-Cars is a membership-based service that provides rented cars with a driver for local commuting needs.

How does it work?

Each member will have a personal driver, who can be contacted directly on their mobile phones. The operating time is usually a 12-hour window between 7:30 am to 7:30 pm. The driver’s response time to reach the customer is dependant on the subscribed package, and other factors like traffic conditions etc. After checking the membership card, the driver transports the member to the required destination.

The service is targeted at households that don’t use their second or third cars regularly, and the cost of buying and maintaining these vehicles outweighs the benefits. Shuttle-Cars identifies its clients in housewives, senior citizens and children who don’t need a car for the whole day, and also use the car only for short distances. For example, trips to the local grocery store, dropping children to their schools etc.

Package breakdown

There are four packages – Silver, Gold, Diamond and Platinum. Monthly rental ranges from Rs 299-1499 (Dwarka) and Rs 499-4999 (Gurgaon, Noida). Each trip is a single, one-way, non-stop journey of 15 minutes or 5 kms, whichever is less. It has a fixed price of Rs. 99 (Dwarka) and Rs. 149 (Gurgaon, Noida). If your trip exceeds the 5 kms / 15 minutes window, then charges for a 2nd trip will apply.

The packages come with different booking advance times and monthly trip limits. Further Membership details in the attached image.

Advantages:

Unlike cab services,

• Each member has a permanent designated driver
• All trips are accepted without restriction on the minimum distance
• If the car is late by more than 15 minutes of the expected time, the trip is free of cost
• The service is door-to-door

Unlike an owned car,

• No hassles of driving in heavy traffic or worry about parking
• Avoid typical ownership expenses like a full time driver, fuel, maintenance, depreciation etc.

Disadvantages:

• For small distances only (maximum of 5 kms / 15 minutes)
• More expensive than regular cabs! Regular cabs have no monthly membership fees either
• For many usage patterns, owning a small hatchback will actually work out cheaper
• Only available during specific operating hours [7:30 am - 7:30 pm]
• Booking has to be made upto an hour in advance
• The service is still very new and hence, the quality is unknown

Shuttle-Cars is inspired by the American car-sharing company Zipcar, the biggest such company in the world with over half a million members and an 8,000 vehicle-strong fleet.

The service currently has a fleet of only 6 vehicles and is available only in New Delhi (Dwarka), Gurgaon and Noida. Depending on the market response, there might be further expansion in the next 6-12 months.

If members need to travel beyond the 5km limit, instead of adding a second trip and increasing the expenses, they can also opt to hire a local radio cab service associated with Shuttle-Cars, at a 10% discount.

Shuttle-Cars : An alternative to owning a 2nd Car-download.jpg

Name:  shuttle1.jpg
Views: 2345
Size:  68.7 KB

Last edited by GTO : 27th July 2012 at 10:26.
DukeNukem is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 26th July 2012, 14:38   #2
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,749
Thanked: 89,386 Times
Default Re: Shuttle-Cars : An alternative to owning a 2nd Car

Have these guys done any competitive analysis at all?

For 5 kms, a Meru cab costs 92 bucks in Mumbai and 100 bucks in Delhi. That's WITHOUT any monthly membership fees and absolutely no restriction on the number of kms / time over and above. I'm unable to understand why I would pay Shuttle Cars MORE (Rs. 149 for 5 kms) and upto Rs. 5,000 in membership fees for exactly this. The benefits of using a radio-cab service improve if the trip is for 4 kms or 8 (i.e. not rounded off to 5).

Further, if I use Shuttle's service for 400 kms a month (which is minimal running for a car in India), it would cost me Rs. 16,919. I can definitely own & run a small hatchback (or a used sedan) for the same money (or less). Of course, it wouldn't cover the cost of a chauffeur.

At first glance, I thought this concept is unique. But after running the numbers, sorry, neither am I convinced nor do I think it will be successful in India.

BTW, their website looks extremely amateur. The FAQ has no questions & answers, and I couldn't find the membership plans & prices listed either. The Indian Junta is anyways skeptical of "plans & schemes", such a website only makes one more nervous.

I hope they revamp their offerings so that the customer actually benefits from the same.

Last edited by GTO : 26th July 2012 at 14:41.
GTO is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 26th July 2012, 17:06   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
dZired's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Jaipur
Posts: 1,731
Thanked: 7,491 Times
Default Re: Shuttle-Cars : An alternative to owning a 2nd Car

I totally dont get the sense of this. Why would anyone take such a membership? Most has been already said by GTO and I totally agree with him. Moreover having a fixed driver has no such advantage to a person like me. I am not going to do friendship with him that I need the same driver during all of my trips.
Then the fact that all trips are accepted irrespective of the distance makes no true advantage again as they are already taking an extra membership cost while most radio cab services now have this feature without any prior membership. And obviously all radio cabs have door to door service so this "pro" of the service is again ruled out.

Last edited by dZired : 26th July 2012 at 17:11. Reason: srevices=services spelling
dZired is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th July 2012, 06:09   #4
Distinguished - BHPian
 
phamilyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,601
Thanked: 3,452 Times
Default Re: Shuttle-Cars : An alternative to owning a 2nd Car

Agree fully with GTO. This should have been launched in Gurgaon in 2007, when there was no form of public transport. Now with scheduled bus services reaching Gurgaon's corners, and autos at every turn, why on earth would someone pay a monthly rental together with a 30rs/km ride (149 for 5km!!).

Has ANYONE bought it? And not asked for his/her money back?!

btw, your post said membership details in attached image but nothing in there!!

Their site SHUTTLE CARS is interesting. Written well, but no numbers.
phamilyman is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 27th July 2012, 13:02   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
mayankk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 4,115
Thanked: 3,489 Times
Default Re: Shuttle-Cars : An alternative to owning a 2nd Car

I was trying to work this out for my wife, and it turns out 2k cheaper IF I utilize the FE costs of my fiesta as the base petrol expense for a month.

For someone using a more sensible option, like a diesel or a more frugal car, it would be even lesser, probably he would save more driving himself.

Plus, for my case, I haven't accounted for the metro cost, the cost of the metro crowd madness,the cost (most probably) standing through the trip, as well as letting go of the ease of home-car-office, rather than home-car-metro-car-office.

Idea is excellent, needs to be MUCH cheaper(for noida/GGN).
mayankk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th July 2012, 13:30   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 146
Thanked: 50 Times
Default Re: Shuttle-Cars : An alternative to owning a 2nd Car

I think it is not very bad. Who or why would one use it?

Women who do not know or want to drive, they will use it. Also the driver will be known so it is safer than other options. Hope they have decent, courteous drivers.

If it was in Bangalore, I would have used it for family as there is non-existant reliable, safe taxi service for intra-city use in Bangalore. In Bangalore all taxi drivers want to go to airport.

This does not look like to be the case in Gurgaon but then safety concerns are high and women may use it.

People doing maths here are not including costs of driver. And they are not taking increasing concerns of safety in consideration. Of course chances of success would have been higher had it been at Dwarka costs across Gurgaon.

~maniac

Last edited by serious_maniac : 27th July 2012 at 13:31. Reason: typos
serious_maniac is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 27th July 2012, 14:49   #7
BHPian
 
negativeH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 182
Thanked: 52 Times
Default Re: Shuttle-Cars : An alternative to owning a 2nd Car

There main target sector would be the housewives and elderly who 'may not like' to travel in taxis and public transport, but can't drive.
If they are ready to wait for the customer while he shops, then it's pretty amazing; otherwise it's spending 200 bucks for one trip to the mall under 5km.

Obviously they'd be cheaper than owning a second car given a typical monthly installment is around 6k and driver atleast 6-7k; but in the long run I'd prefer my own car with a driver because:
-I can use the driver as I like, including on my other cars
-No time limit
-Re-sale of my car gives me good money unlike surrendering a membership
-With diesel and CNG, FE ain't much of an issue
negativeH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th July 2012, 15:35   #8
BHPian
 
vinayrathore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: DL-9C/KA-01
Posts: 528
Thanked: 306 Times
Smile Re: Shuttle-Cars : An alternative to owning a 2nd Car

This is an amazing concept. Saw a very similar thing in Zurich last month. Its called Mobility there and mostly have cute little smart cars. They are driverless key less cars with a smart card for all members. Just book a car online or on phone, walk to the nearest car and drive.... Simple as that

This is how it works: Mobility® International Inc. - This is how it works

Here the main swiss website: Car sharing is the clever way to be mobile. - Mobility®
vinayrathore is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 27th July 2012, 16:03   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Delhi
Posts: 274
Thanked: 97 Times
Default Re: Shuttle-Cars : An alternative to owning a 2nd Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
...For 5 kms, a Meru cab costs 92 bucks in Mumbai and 100 bucks in Delhi. That's WITHOUT any monthly membership fees and absolutely no restriction on the number of kms / time over and above. I'm unable to understand why I would pay Shuttle Cars MORE (Rs. 149 for 5 kms) and upto Rs. 5,000 in membership fees for exactly this. The benefits of using a radio-cab service improve if the trip is for 4 kms or 8 (i.e. not rounded off to 5). ...
A problem with radio taxis is that nowadays they simply refuse the trip unless the distances are very large. I am personally faced this problem in Delhi.

This model may be useful for people in GGN where getting taxis or local TSRs is very difficult. At least the housewife will have an alternative which theoretically is trustworthy compared to a taxi.

People making a regular & scheduled trip - say school or even pickup & drop may find it useful.

Last edited by aditya101 : 27th July 2012 at 16:07.
aditya101 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th July 2012, 07:25   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
mayankjha1806's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: BLR/Gurgaon
Posts: 2,133
Thanked: 820 Times
Default Re: Shuttle-Cars : An alternative to owning a 2nd Car

Just after reading the first post i thought lets work some numbers in an excel sheet and i saw GTO's post. Lovely analysis.

If the customer has to fork out 16K for using 400Kms then its surely not worth it, as in this much money i can have my own car and spend much less. Also get some of the initial money back when i decide to sell the car.

Not a financially viable option at the moment for sure.
mayankjha1806 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th July 2012, 10:15   #11
Team-BHP Support
 
Vid6639's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 14,471
Thanked: 19,378 Times
Default Re: Shuttle-Cars : An alternative to owning a 2nd Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Have these guys done any competitive analysis at all?

For 5 kms, a Meru cab costs 92 bucks in Mumbai and 100 bucks in Delhi. That's WITHOUT any monthly membership fees and absolutely no restriction on the number of kms / time over and above. I'm unable to understand why I would pay Shuttle Cars MORE (Rs. 149 for 5 kms) and upto Rs. 5,000 in membership fees for exactly this. The benefits of using a radio-cab service improve if the trip is for 4 kms or 8 (i.e. not rounded off to 5).
The Meru does work out to be cheaper but the problem is no radio taxi service in Bangalore takes bookings for distances less than 10Kms. They want Rs.180 as minimum fare.

In that way, what these guys offer is something that the radio cabs don't. Ofcourse offering for 15mins is completely useless and I would look at something like 10kms within 1 hour and charge Rs.200. That would make sense since one can run errands nearby like shopping and return back home. As a second car for errands you obviously need to return back home and this is targeted for the housewives/elders who are generally at home. They need the car only for errands like temple/shopping/picking kids from school. All these require 2 way.

The idea of a fixed driver is also good as you dont have to keep telling a new driver everyday where you want to go and directions. Usually the place you go to is the same like a school or market. Also you feel safer with the same guy.

In Bangalore I used a driver agency very similar to this. Only thing you use your own car and you just pay for driver. It was Rs.200 for 4 hours. My dad used it for going to work and back. The problem was we would be sent a new driver every day. So dad would need to tell him the route everyday and where to park in office. Then the next day a new driver would call and we would need to give him directions to come home in the morning. Got very irritating after a week and we went back to Meru.

These guys were probably trageting Zipcar concept from UK but needs suitable changes for working in India. They took care of one such change i.e. not self drive but with driver but the rates and hours were not well thought out.
Vid6639 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th July 2012, 17:43   #12
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 260
Thanked: 91 Times
Default Re: Shuttle-Cars : An alternative to owning a 2nd Car

Looks to be a good concept.

At least in Bangalore, all cabbies want to go to Airport and all autos want a long commute (if at all they are willing!). Hence, having this kind of set up is a lot peace of mind than other option. Familiarity with the driver is not an important factor for others, but for elderly, housewives, etc would be a comforting factor.

Again, the fares are similar to what one would part with in case of auto (most times), so this "should" work!
babu.sundaram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th July 2012, 18:04   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
SkyWalker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,531
Thanked: 122 Times
Default Re: Shuttle-Cars : An alternative to owning a 2nd Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Further, if I use Shuttle's service for 400 kms a month (which is minimal running for a car in India), it would cost me Rs. 16,919. I can definitely own & run a small hatchback (or a used sedan) for the same money (or less). Of course, it wouldn't cover the cost of a chauffeur.
Well said GTO.

The only advantage I see is getting a cab in 60-30 mins, which is currently close to impossible in Bangalore.

I use the services of EziDrive (https://www.ezidrive.in) in Bangalore when i need a chauffeur on call. They charge 220 Rs for a 4 hour window and 50 bucks for each additional hour. Quite happy with them. If you like a driver, you can keep asking for him again, and they will be happy to oblige as long as the person is available.

Last edited by SkyWalker : 28th July 2012 at 18:05.
SkyWalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Honda Fit (jazz) Shuttle station wagon sidindica The International Automotive Scene 23 13th August 2015 19:55
Should a few of us stop owning cars?! rajushank84 The Indian Car Scene 220 27th July 2012 11:10
Cars you missed out on owning, and why... SuperSelect Shifting gears 139 27th July 2012 00:27
Vehicle for shuttle service / medical emergencies psathya Commercial Vehicles 22 9th November 2011 15:57


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 05:45.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks