With driving becoming increasingly painful, several citizens have moved to using taxi aggregators which in turn added to the traffic density.
The all time favourite 3 wheeler or rickshaw got a raw deal with most commuters preferring the ease of the cab aggregators . To add to this, the unreasonable fare demands from the rickshaw drivers and their refusal to take short trips resulted in them losing substantial business.
Meet 23 year old engineer-entrepreneur, Rahul Shitole who decided to address these issues, both from a rickshaw driver perspective and the commuter.
Shitole designed a technology based solution and mobile application for auto-rickshaws that will soon be made available to the public of Pune.
Citizens can soon enjoy a hassle-free ride at minimal cost by booking an auto-rickshaw using this website, toll-free number or mobile application.
Pune365 spoke to this innovative entrepreneur on his idea and the way ahead for TretaKalp and his mission to improve public transportation in the city of Pune.
The story of TretaKalp took shape one early winter morning in Pune…
This 23 year old Mechanical engineer Rahul Shitole landed in Pune Railway Station and noticed that rickshaw drivers were demanding 3-4 times more than the standard fare.
Rahul decided to get to the root cause of this rickshaw mentality and the findings of this research conducted for over 8 months was an eye-opener for him.
TretaKalp was born of the outcome of this research and. “Treta” represents the lesser known factors and concerns Rickshaw drivers are dealing with “Kalp” represents the innumerable solutions available (using the latest technology) to address the rickshaw driver concerns.
Speaking to Pune365, Rahul shares, “My father has been an Auto Driver since 2004 and my mother supplies Rotis to a hotel. The Rickshaw App is a result of 12+ years of my Dad’s experience and hard work from the team”
We aim to have people believe in Treta Kalp to provide a sustainable solution to the urban transport situation. We are committed to making public transport the most convenient and efficient mode.
Explaining their objective further, Rahul adds that their intention is to strengthen Pune’s public transport. The vehicle count already exceeds the population and hence this is critical.
“The best mode of public transport is the rickshaw, but people fear that autos charge extra, and they refuse short trips. I absolutely agree with these issues, but no one has tried to understand the real concerns behind this, says Rahul.
The major benefits of the application include the fact that it can be used without a smartphone and also features the facility to compare the estimated fare between two destinations and the actual fare.
If you were to check other fares for the same ride in peak hours, you will notice a huge difference, whereas we strictly follow RTO guidelines and our fares will only vary depending on traffic which is also capped at a 5% change.
They have proposed two modes to suit different customers:
Offline : Here the customer can hire an auto (that will bear an ID sticker) and inform the driver of the destination. Driver in turn enters all the details including the customers number. An SMS with all details including vehicle number, driver details, payment links etc will be sent to the customer. This will also contain a map navigation link.
Online: This segment will operate through a Toll-Free Number and Online Customer app which will be launched in a month. The Service charges are 5 & 10 RS and over 40% of the revenue is spent on the auto drivers who will be given insurance policies etc. Driver completing 4500 trips a year will also be given third part insurance as an incentive.
A phone call based booking option is also being launched to have the autos come to your doorstep. The app will accept the payment through Debit Card/ Credit Card/ Net Banking/ Wallets and UPI.
Concluding, Shitole added “In our pilot project we intended to restrict it to 35 drivers, however, the response over the past few days has already seen 100 drivers register with us.
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