How RideCo Reduced Long Distance Commute Times by 50% for Staff at a Suburban Employer

RideCo
January 2, 2019
 - 
5 minute read

Many organizations — particularly those located in suburban areas or outside of the city center and underserved by public transit — have issues getting their employees to and from work. Their employees are forced to make multiple transfers between buses, subways, and by foot, adding stress and time to their commute. This case study highlights how RideCo and its fleet partner worked with an organization to create a new, affordable, long-distance shuttle solution for their employees, improving employee retention, satisfaction, and productivity.

Here’s How it Works

  • Riders use a mobile app to book a ride that is pre-scheduled between a pickup point close to their home and workplace.
  • Riders are transported in a 23-seater dynamic route shuttle that picks them up near their home, and drops them off at their workplace, and vice-versa. No transfers are required.
  • 23-seater shuttles are dynamically routed, responsive to ride bookings. The shuttle route is different each day, depending on the day’s ride bookings.
  • The cost to riders is roughly the same as what they would have paid for public transit. The employer subsidizes a portion of the ticket price.
  • Organizations experience higher employee retention, satisfaction, and productivity.

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After using RideCo, the service witnesses improved employee satisfaction

The success of the on-demand shuttle service launch was heavily covered in local media, including in The Straits Times, a national publication. See here for a testimonial, written by a Singapore Armed Force staff member, about the launch.

Click below to watch a video of the service model, using anonymized locations.

Background and Challenge:

The Singapore Armed Forces has bases located in low-density or peripheral areas of Singapore, far away from high-density residential areas where many of their employees lived. This created challenges, as:

  • Employees had difficulties getting to and from work and were frustrated. The base was geographically far from the city center and thus underserved by public transit. To commute to work, employees had to take a two-hour one-way journey, with 2 transfers on buses and subways, in addition to a 1-mile (~2 km) walk. The same commute would have taken approximately 30 minutes direct by car.
  • The long, inconvenient commute lowered the quality of life for staff.
  • The organization (Singapore Armed Forces) was experiencing lower employee productivity and dissatisfaction as a result of the commute.

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The long commute experienced by employees

The Singapore Armed Forces approached Grab, RideCo’s client partner, about using our dynamic shuttle platform to operate a long-distance commuter service for their employees. The service would pick up employees near their homes (in Punggol, Sengkang, and other locations) and drop them off at the camp.

The service would:

  • Have the same rider fare charge as public transit to ensure accessibility and encourage the use of the service
  • Need to be flexible, easily replicable, and scalable to ensure that all bases could be served
  • Provide a real-time, continuously updated ETA for pickup and ensure that employees arrive to work by a certain time
  • Achieve a vehicle utilization of 8 or more occupied seats per dynamic route run, to ensure the financial viability of operations
  • Dynamically route the vehicles, responsive to actual trip bookings. In other words, the routes can look different every day, and can change in real-time as last minute bookings may be made

RideCo, together with its partner Grab, worked within these constraints and delivered a transit solution for Singapore Armed Forces.

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User-friendly mobile app offers multiple options for booking

Service Model

The shuttle service runs daily, operating in the AM rush and PM rush periods. In the AM rush period, the shuttles operate from the employees’ homes to the army base, and vice-versa in the PM rush. There are 500+ virtual stops, located near the employees’ homes, where they can be picked up. Virtual stops are placed, on average, 400 meters/yards away from one another, to ensure that employees do not have to walk more than 5 mins to their pickup location.

Per the organization’s request:

  • The shuttle costs approximately SGD$4.50 for a one-way trip, which is roughly the same cost to commute via public transit.
  • When searching for a ride, employees are directed to their nearest virtual stop within a 5-minute walk, to ensure ride routes are efficient and to constrain costs.
  • The in-vehicle journey time is no more than 1-hour, which is a ~50% reduction in commute time relative to taking multiple journeys and transfers via fixed route public transit.

Launch

RideCo’s operational partner Grab launched this service, in conjunction with the Singapore Armed Forces.

  • The Singapore Armed Forces reached out to Grab, to investigate potential ways to leverage Grab’s resources to provide a shuttle service.
  • Grab developed multiple service model concepts and trials, based on RideCo’s dynamic shuttle technology. User testing was conducted to determine which concept would best fit the employer’s needs.
  • After multiple iterations, Grab and RideCo deployed a solution that exceeded the employer’s expectations. The employer remarked that they “thought it would take many months (to roll out and launch this service), but from my first meeting to the start of the service, it was 1.5 months”.

This shuttle service launch was heavily covered in local media, including in The Straits Times (Singapore’s national newspaper). See here for a testimonial, written by a Singapore Armed Force staff member, about the launch.

Results

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Grab ShuttlePlus poster advertising our launch

  • Employees are now able to reclaim 2 hours of their time everyday from using our dynamic shuttle instead of public transit. This has increased their quality-of-life significantly, as they now have time to spend with their families, to rest, or for other leisure activities.
  • Employees are now more willing to make discretionary trips between work and home, using the shuttle. Previously, they would not have made these trips, due to the time (2h+) and effort involved with using public transit. This increases their mobility, which in turn increases employee satisfaction.
  • The employer now has greater predictability of their employee’s arrival and departure times, increasing organizational productivity.

Key Takeaways:

RideCo’s dynamic shuttle platform enables organizations to provide cost-effective, long-distance commuter solutions for their employees, that reduces commute time, improves convenience through app-based bookings and tracking. The result is reduced commuting time and improved employee satisfaction.

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