Mgaadi plans to dramatically improve the quality of auto rickshaw commuting in Bangalore. We paste the email we received from them which is quite self explanatory. We at Whitefield Rising believe this will be game changing for both the auto driver and the passenger. Lets adopt it full steam.
As you know, there are auto drivers who go on meter and others who simply won’t. In this city of 1.25 lakh auto rickshaws, we believe there are at least 10,000 drivers of the former kind. In the past few months, we have enrolled over 300 of them into our network and our goal is to enroll them all.
We at mGaadi believe this can be achieved using a carrot policy (think “incentives for drivers”) instead of a stick-like deterrent (e.g. “report errant drivers to the police”).
Q: What kind of incentives are we talking about?
A: More trips. More recurring trips. Longer trips. Even amongst the mGaadi drivers, we want to use customer ratings (for every trip) to differentiate between the excellent, the very good and the merely good drivers. We’d use ratings as key criteria to reward them with more trips, bonuses and early access to various types of financial, livelihood and social security services.
Q: If you are a frequent commuter, how can you help in our mission to dramatically improve the quality of auto rickshaw commuting?
A: You can help in TWO ways:
- Book an mGaadi auto
- Refer auto drivers who go on meter
Each time you take an mGaadi auto (#1), you are positively reinforcing that going on meter is good. Each referral (#2) increases our roster of drivers and thus increases your (& other commuters’) chance of getting a 5-star driver.
Q: How can you book an mGaadi auto?
A: Just call (080) 6768 4983
Q: Will the auto driver really go on meter? Are there any charges?
A: Yes – all mGaadi drivers have agreed to go on meter – it’s a cornerstone of the mGaadi philosophy and value proposition. The meter fare (plus a Rs. 10 pickup fee) is directly payable to the driver. Related blog posts: here, here, and here. Night rates will apply as usual (1.5X between 10pm and 6am) and waiting time is charged at Rs. 10 for every 15 min block.
Q: How can you refer drivers who go on meter?
A: Just email the driver’s name & mobile# to email@example.com
More mGaadi details below including an extended FAQ, an animation video and (yes) even a cartoon strip.
1-min animation video on How mGaadi Works:
Q: What’s with the “beta” tag?
A: The mGaadi network is currently touching 300 drivers and, while we are adding drivers at a healthy rate, it’s safe to say that we’ll hit some bookings (and miss some others).
Our recent experience suggests that we are more likely to fulfill:
- trips longer than 5 km
- recurring trips at pre-determined times (e.g. “Koramangala to Electronic City 6pm M-F”)
- trips with a lead time of 1 hour or longer.
Q: What about the smartphone app that you saw in the video and cartoon?
A: The Android and Mobile Web versions of the commuter app are currently working but we are not thrilled with the way they look. They need a sprinkling of fine pixel dust, some UX love and and just a bit more testing before we unleash them on you. Sometime in November (promise!)
Q: Two types of mGaadi drivers – mGaadi Basic and mGaadi GPS. What’s the difference? Are these drivers employed (or contracted) by India Drivers Network?
A: GPS drivers have a GPS device in their rickshaw which enables mGaadi to track the rickshaw continuously. Basic drivers don’t have a GPS device in their rickshaw and their location is tracked only at the start and end of trips. Majority of our drivers are currently of the Basic variety but we are working on multiple programs/incentives to upgrade them to mGaadi GPS.
Both types of drivers are neither employed nor contracted by us. We are a hailing service (a transparent marketplace if you may) – matching the nearest driver who agrees to your destination on meter plus the Rs. 10 pickup fee. Initially, we’ll be enabling a small percentage of daily trips for these drivers.
Over time, as the number of commuters using our service increases, that percentage will gradually rise.
Q: If an mGaadi Basic driver gets assigned to my trip, does it mean that mGaadi won’t be able to track the rickshaw’s location continuously?
A: For now, yes. But after we release our smartphone apps (Android, iOS and Windows Phone), we’ll be able to track using the GPS on the commuter’s (your) smartphone or computer.
Q: Why did we start India Drivers Network and mGaadi? What are our motivations?
A: Over 95% of India’s workforce (which includes approximately 30 million commercial drivers) is unorganized. Research has demonstrated that financial and health decision “defaults” and income determinism are significant inflection points in raising the standard of living of this demographic. We are passionate about mGaadi’s potential as a market-based solution that will delight commuters and generate incremental income (and social security cover) for drivers. Some might call this an inclusive solution. We prefer to call it a fair solution. The rest of the answer continues here – a different kind of Indian city.
*Any* questions? Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Or just call (080) 6768 4983.