Can ride-sharing really be a way forward for Enterprise Transportation?

In most Indian metros, large employers have employee transportation among their three largest expenses. A typical large corporate’s employees travel using a combination of personal vehicles, company provided shuttle/bus services and paid taxi services, and by other modes including public transportation. Transportation costs have a direct bearing on bottom-line, while transport facilities directly affect employee engagement. Thus reducing transportation expenses is not straightforward, and if not done correctly – may negatively affect employee engagement.

Strangely, such companies have so far overlooked the opportunity to optimize costs – by maximizing value derived from shared employee transportation, utilizing the capacity available in the private cars owned by employees. Consequently, the opportunity to reduce company provided transportation costs have not been fully harvested, while individual employees using their own vehicles continue to bear the high costs associated with using a dedicated vehicle.

What if: the organization’s priority was on getting maximum people transported to work utilizing the empty seats in employees’ vehicles? [There are platforms which help to do this in real-time – one such platform being Quick Ride http://quickride.in; links are provided at the end of this post for those interested]

Once the possibility of such optimization through ride-sharing is exhausted – the next option may be to allocate company provided transport for the remaining people who could not find a viable shared option. This may be dynamically allocated based on real-time demand data.

Examined closer, ride-sharing has the following direct benefits:

  • Employee transportation costs come down for the Company.
  • Employees bringing their vehicles to work can directly see a value in recovering fuel and maintenance costs. It reduces costs for both Passenger (taking a ride) and Rider (offering the ride) – thus deriving more value from their income. Ride-sharing can even be an alternative to using commercial taxi services by employees, even if the employee (not the company) pays for it.
  • Ride-sharing makes it possible for employees to travel with colleagues – who otherwise have to travel with a stranger (cab-driver). The former option – is definitely way safer, than travelling with strangers.
  • Increases employee engagement – by offering more opportunities for them to interact with their colleagues, on the way, thus promoting informal networks within the organization and the project teams. Retaining an engaged employee with a good number of connections within the company is easier, thus positively influencing retention rate.

As an example case: for a large IT employer we assume around 10,000 employees at one of their campuses, they have to provide approximately 4000 employees with company transportation services – needing approximately 60 buses and 400 taxi-cabs – costing about Rs.1 Crore (Rs.10 million) per month. In parallel, parking space demand was there for 1000 cars and 3000 two-wheelers, daily. Assuming 3 empty seats per car and 1 seat per 2-wheeler, total unutilized capacity for carrying people is about 6000. Within this, even is 50% is feasible and available for share (due to time & location constraints) – about 3000 seats are going unutilized every day. If the needs of even 1500-2000 employees needing transportation can be fulfilled with this available capacity, the company can easily cut its cost of transport operator by half, if not more. The potential is huge! Others who are using other modes of transport can also switch to available shared options, if any. Being more comfortable & secure (travelling with same company colleagues) while less expensive than other available options – the shared mode will definitely win over loyal followers from other modes. Overall – it is a win-win for both employer and employees!

If enterprises provide the right kind of incentives for sharing (or disincentives, for not sharing) rides – they stand to gain significantly from cost savings. Providing incentives like priority parking for shared cars, and periodically recognizing Green Champions among employees who clock the maximum shared distances may be a good start to promote the habit. A roadmap for parking space demand reduction, or a weekly rotation based car-park availability program may also be good behaviour influencing tools in favour of increased ride-sharing.

Given all the above benefits at no extra cost (and sometimes even with cost reduction), should organizations not be making a serious effort to promote technology enabled ride-sharing among its employees?

Details about Quick Ride’s advanced features are available here.

Download links: for Android https://goo.gl/h1TUo1; for iOS http://ow.ly/Zf8EM
A 1-minute illustration video is available at https://goo.gl/Jy2VCg
‘How To’ videos for common uses of Quick Ride can be found at this link: https://goo.gl/LLxACL
Quick Ride team can be reached for any support at: support@quickride.in or by phone at 080 39515455