So they’ve hiked petrol rates again. Auto and taxi unions are asking for a raise in their base fares as well. Even the dependable BEST has hiked ticket fares, forcing more and more people to travel ‘cattle class’ in our local trains, which are already overcrowded.
So what is one to do? Opt for jobs that offer pick up and drop or opt for companies that offer the ‘work-from-home’ option? Unfortunately, most of us won’t be able to utilise these elusive options. But don’t fret. Coming to the rescue are city-specific travel apps, websites and even a helpline that make commuting in Mumbai easier.
Help at hand
Take for instance 360Navigator. Started by three former Tata Institute of Social Sciences students, Sandeep Kothawade, Pradeep Singh and Ruchi Singal, the 9 am-to-9 pm helpline offers commuters information on public transport services in Mumbai. Upon dialing the number 95953 60360, those on the go can get accurate information on bus numbers, local train routes, timetables, travel duration, fares, distance, travel passes and more.
“We provide the caller with information on the best way to reach a destination as well as the correct fare and time it takes to reach there,” says Kothawade. There is no fee to access this service apart from the dialing cost. To date, they have helped more than 5,000 commuters choose the most suitable mode of public transport.
Beat the traffic
Those who are struggling to keep their taxi fares to a minimum could try using apps like Sabka Traffic or Traffline. Offering real-time information on clogged or traffic-free streets, they will help you reach home in minimum time.
“Studies show that on an average, 25 minutes are wasted in traffic every day. This equates to a year of lost time in a lifetime. We saw an opportunity to address this situation by leveraging technology to solve the problem,” says Tapan Seth of Sabka Traffic, adding that the focus is on getting users to proactively get involved in traffic reporting. “We provide real-time information on incident reporting, routing and the app updates information every four minutes.”
Pooling in resources
And for those who believe in the green cause and cutting costs, SmartMumbaikar, a Facebook app, offers a platform to start car, taxi and auto sharing services.
Using this service, you can look for people who can accompany you on your daily commute, amongst friends and their friends. People also have the option of setting up routes and travelling with strangers.
Raxit Sheth, who developed the app, says, “As soon as we get matching co-travellers on our platform, we notify users via email or the Facebook profile link. People will also be informed if mutual friends are taking the same route every day.”
You no longer need to even go online to know more about BEST or local train routes, auto and taxi fares. The website mobond.org lets Mumbaikars download offline mobile applications that simplify daily travel.
The core team at Mobond.org consists of a team of enthusiastic software professionals and former students from Ruparel, VJTI, JBIMS and Pillai College who ensure that Mumbaikars can avail of applications that offer auto and taxi readings and their correct fares, besides Indian Railways PNR status finder, and even information about the Sunday mega blocks.
Mumbai Taxi and Rickshaw Card: The app shows you the correct and most accurate fare for cabs and auto rickshaws. The fares are the latest and night fares are available too.
BestBus Route Finder: It helps you navigate the BEST bus system in Mumbai. It covers around 2,000 bus stops in the city.
MyCityWay - Mumbai Way: It is your one-stop resource for everything Mumbai has to offer. A must download for tourists.
India Motor Driving Tips: The educative app offers information on traffic signs, motor insurance and taxi and rickshaw fare. It works without an Internet connection.
Mumbai Local Trains: Using your current location, this app allows you navigate the city’s local train network.