Kolkata to Receive Uber Shuttle Bus Service signs MoU with State Department

Uber, the ridesharing app, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state transport department in Bengal to introduce a new bus service called 'Uber Shuttle'. The service will cater to daily commuters in the city and use private bus fleets to provide tech-optimized mobility choices. According to the company, this is the first-of-its-kind partnership aimed at offering convenient and comfortable commuting options.

As part of this MoU, signed between Saumitra Mohan, transport department secretary and Shiva Shailendran, Director - Operations, Uber India & South Asia, Uber has proposed to invest USD 10 million by 2025 and create approximately 50,000 livelihood opportunities in the city in the next 5 years, the company stated. “The launch of Uber Shuttle will help in tackling road congestion while getting more people to commute in fewer vehicles which, in turn, helps reduce carbon emissions,” a statement from Uber read.

For commuters, the transportation services will operate similarly to pre-booked cabs on the Uber app. However, in this case, passengers can pre-book seats up to a week in advance. All a passenger needs to do is track the live location and route of the bus and know its expected time of arrival (ETA), which is similar to how they can track an Uber cab. “This will bring alive a convenient commute experience with no standing passengers, cashless payments, and round-the-clock safety support from Uber including having access to a 24 by 7 Safety Line", the company stated.

Uber has confirmed that by March 2024, it will operate around 60 air-conditioned buses on specific routes, connecting residential areas with business districts in the city. The buses will run from 6 am to 10 pm every day on each route. The shuttle vehicles will be operated by local fleet partners using Uber's technology, and each bus will have a seating capacity ranging from 19 to 50 persons.

"Our partnership with Uber is another step in the government’s commitment to improve public transport services and expand available transport options to make commuting hassle-free", Mohan said. "This partnership is special as the first partnership of its kind that will bring the magic of Uber rides to buses. By giving commuters more transport options to choose from and creating livelihood opportunities for drivers, we are confident that this initiative will set us on a path of collective win", Shailendran added.