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Samar Singla: “How is Jugnoo Connected to the Intelligent/Smart Cities”

Samar Singla, CEO & Founder of Jugnoo

The pollution levels in cities like Delhi, increasing and ever-growing traffic snarls in Bangalore or low mobility speed in Mumbai does not only indicate the menace of increased vehicles and ever-growing pressure in urban spaces but also underlines the urgency of having an efficient public transit system. Indian cities are already facing a lot of problems like deteriorating air quality, severe congestion, and road accidents. With the population expected to grow more than double to 590 million by 2030, the urban traffic situation is only expected to worsen.

Data indicates that the urban population is largely dependent on private vehicles for the everyday commute. The number of registered vehicles increased from 55 million in 2001 to 159 million in 2012. The share of two-wheelers has increased by four percent from 2001 to 2012 and the share of cars, jeeps, and taxis has increased by 0.2 percent.

The share of two-wheelers has increased by four percent from 2001 to 2012 and the share of cars, jeeps, and taxis has increased by 0.2 percent.

While the Smart City project in India plans to ease the constantly growing pressure of its increasingly urban population, one of the key factors determining its success will be good mobility and transportation system.

How Can Cities Leverage the Potential of the ‘Sharing Economy’?

The popularity of smartphones, lower data costs and high population density in cities facilitates the use of sharing platforms, and can scale up quickly with the right model. Jugnoo, that started off with a humble beginning, today, has established a footprint in 50+ Indian cities and 20 cities out of India. Connected technology is now an integral part of 7.5 million registered users, positively impacting the lives of 75,000 drivers and 500+ employees in India.

The sharing economy has revolutionized modern life in countless ways, and they are now starting to change the way cities work. The “smart city” movement is gaining traction worldwide, and it’s opened up a new world of possibilities to forward-thinking. Jugnoo, in this direction, has contributed in several ways.

Seamless connectivity:​ Shared economy utilizes a large number of resources that are concentrated in the urban areas and create ideal conditions for monetizing excess or idle capacity. It also helps in optimizing the match of supply and demand. For Eg: In a smart city, various public transportation providers cover the long-distance commute. So we at Jugnoo, focus on last-mile connectivity, where travel from a transportation hub (e.g. train station, bus stop) to the commuter’s destination is made seamless and aimed at improving the overall mobility experience.

Environmental sustainability:​ Sharing the auto rickshaw rides creates less congestion that is not only beneficial in a direct way but also in an indirect way. Less congestion means less fuel use, less pollution, and better air quality. It also reduces stress in people significantly as being stuck in traffic is terrible for work-life balance in urban areas.

GPS-based, real-time tracking and route information:​ Auto rickshaw drivers and riders have come a long way to accept and embrace technological advancements to promote smart and sustainable transport. Real-time tracking and updates will make commuters more confident about the commute. A smart city cannot operate in a primitive manner, hence it needs to embrace the use of available technology. Safety, reduced traffic fatalities, reduced emissions, and overall better social experience are the benefits of broad-scale implementation of technology.

Sociocultural development: ​With uncertainty around fixed income generation for drivers, shared economy has the potential to augment income and can help prevent poverty. Thought one step further, this might mean economically weaker section are less likely to leave cities than they otherwise would. For example, a person living in Chandigarh who owns an auto rickshaw that helps him/her earn a monthly income via ride sharing might not move out of the city.

While the concept of sharing economy is old, the full possibilities opened up by the digital tools of the sharing economy are underutilized. Jugnoo is set out to understanding and supporting the potential role of sharing economy in enabling the cities to become smarter. The sharing economy has a role in integrating most of the city assets and enable smart solutions to urban living. If

managed well, the sharing economy promises to have a transformative impact on the cities. It can boost the economy, nurture a sense of community by bringing people closer to local communities and improve the environmental impact by efficient use of existing resources.


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