The first venture, out of Robi’s internal entrepreneurship development program r-venture, called Shuttle is here. Shuttle is an app-based pick and drop service for women that aims to provide safe, comfortable and affordable transportation for women. After months of experiment, the service is now open for public. Users can book ride over phone or email or by registering at the Shuttle website. The service currently operates only in Dhaka in a number of pre-specified routes.
Public transport is a challenge in Dhaka. This is a multifaceted problem inundated with insufficiency of public transport, infrastructure and much more. Riding public transport is often an unpleasant experience for women. Shuttle claims that some 94% women who use public transport said that they have experienced some sort of harassment. This is the problem statement of Shuttle. It says there is no viable transportation alternative for women that is safe and affordable and it aims to be the one. “Shuttle runs on specific routes with specific pick-up and drop-off points on a fixed schedule known to the customers. Our goal is to ensure no woman in Bangladesh has to worry about their safety in transportation anymore.”
That being said, we have to wait to see whether a dedicated transport service for women is the answer to this challenge and whether there is a big enough market to build a scalable business there. It also depends a lot on how Shuttle evolves as a transportation service over the years.
Shuttle is founded by Reyasat Chowdhury, Jawwad Jahangir, and Shah Sufian and is one of the seven incubatees at Robi’s r-ventures. Formally launched in July 2018, R-ventures started as an internal incubator of Robi. It offers a 12-month incubation support and an investment up to BDT 1 crore.
Cover photo: Shuttle web screenshot at December 9, 2018
This is a developing story, will be updated with new information soon.