Taxi-sharing is one trend that has earned a huge demand across the world in the last few years.
With car-sharing on one side, there is another trend bike-sharing that is gaining popularity among the populace.
Many countries are already witnessing the burgeoning renting vehicles market with some witnessing a gradual rise in the bike-sharing market trend. Following the similar lines, Nepal is already riding high on this trend as is evident from its famous motorbike-sharing app called Tootle.
The local motorbike-sharing app Tootle means a lot for Kathmandu which has been facing severe traffic woes since the past.
Launched in early 2017, Tootle has been serving as a top solution for motorbike-sharing services among thousands of young and tech-savvy commuters.
With its services that are five times cheaper than traditional taxis, Tootle has drawn a wider attention among Nepali public and is today trending in Google as the top bike-sharing app in Nepal.
Today, Tootle is operating in around three cities of Kathmandu Valley serving as a bike-sharing option for almost 4 million population of the Valley with around 50,000 dedicated user-base and providing 700 rides a day.
Now, with the growing adoption of digital services in the Nepali society, Tootle is looking at expanding its services beyond the bike-sharing business.
Extending its support to Tootle’s digital efforts, the United Nations Capital Development Fund entered into a deal with the start-up on February 15, 2018 announcing a financial support to Tootle in building a digital payment platform for offering payment services such as shopping and food deliveries.
While this project is expected to take a six months’ time for completion, Tootle is planning to expand its services to two other locations in Nepal such as Narayangadh and Pokhara in the meantime, along with further plans to launch its services in the foreign market.
“Sharing taxis is an existing behavior, but bike-sharing is new. Our service, though, is ideally suited to navigate the traffic-choked streets. Transportation is a big problem here … We lack freedom of mobility,” says Sixit Bhatta (37), Founder of Tootle.
“I was thinking of buying a motorbike myself, but this is so convenient that I no longer feel it necessary,” says a Sushil Shrestha, a 24-year-old Tootle user working as web developer in Kathmandu.
According to Bhatta, “there are almost half a million motorbikes in the Kathmandu Valley and this is the most convenient mode of transport to get around in the Valley”.
Transport services like this can address traffic congestion in the Valley and not just this app, Nepal has been making major strides in adopting technology across sectors, which include introduction of digital signature system in the country’s police department, Immigration mobile app, Parliament’s website and mobile application, RTI Nepal app, among others.