But tech could also provide the solution, as startups have sprung up to break the gridlock.
Founded in 2014, Bounce now operates in more than 30 cities in India with both a docked and dockless model, where you can pick up or drop off the bike anywhere in the city. It claims more than 120,000 rides are taken on its scooters in Bangalore every day.
While the initial motivation behind Bounce was “democratizing the commute” and providing affordable access to mobility for all, one major byproduct has been a reduction in traffic, says Agni.
Four in 10 users start or end at a subway station, he says. “This has a massive impact on reducing traffic and congestion,” as it encourages people to use public transport rather than using a car for the whole trip, he adds.
It also has an impact on the environment, especially as the company introduces more electric scooters to its fleet; by the end of the year, at least half of its vehicles will be electric, says Agni.
Cutting cars and carbon emissions
Using its app, drivers connect with passengers on the same route and fill their empty car seats. Quick Ride’s system allows them to share the cost of the journey using fixed per-kilometer charges and it manages the payments through user accounts, removing the need for cash exchanges.
It operates in nine cities across India with a total of 3.5 million users, almost a third of which are based in Bangalore. The company says it has raised a total of $15.5 million in funding.
More than 70% of employees signed up to Capgemini’s #CAReToShare campaign in 2019, and since the start of the program in 2017 they have clocked up more than 33 million kilometers in carpool journeys, the company says.
“This program was launched with the dual objective of making the daily commute for our employees more convenient, while trying to ease the pollution plaguing our cities,” Vijay Chandramohan, senior director of India’s corporate real estate services for Capgemini, tells CNN Business.
“Cities in India are growing at an exponential rate,” he says. “There is tremendous pressure on the city roads, leading to increasing traffic snarls and commute time resulting in frustration and loss of productivity.”
Lucky the city’s startups are on hand to help.