Uber to school

UX case study on a new business idea of using Uber as a service for dropping off and picking up kids from school
Background

Every day in India, millions of kids go to school. While a majority of them rely on public transportation, private transport forms a significant chunk especially in urban areas. This varies from school buses, autorickshaws and parents dropping kids in bikes or cars. Safety of kids in public transport and school buses is always a major concern for parents. The second option is autorickshaws. Kids are packed together like sardines and transported on pothole ridden roads at mind boggling speeds. Every now and then, there are reports of children falling off the vehicles and getting hurt. Unfortunately there are no strict guidelines on safety measures. In urban areas like Bangalore, school transport tends to be expensive than auto rickshaws. And most kids stay within a 5 kms radius of the school, so autos seem to be only alternative in absence of a vehicle in the house.

Research

For the past few months, one phenomenon I have noticed is mothers using UberPool to drop off and pick up their kids from school each day. Every time I use the cab to go to office, there is usually a mother along with her little one off to school. From a monetary perspective, it works out almost as cheap as an autorickshaw plus the safety of a car and an accompanying parent. This led me to think why not capitalise this market.

There are two types of customers:

  1. Working parents who drop their kid off at school/day care on the way to work. A regular cab would be best suited as there are multiple stops involved. In case of day care, parents pick up their kids on the way back to home. And in case of schools, they rely on one way transport — school bus or caretakers like grandparents to pick them up.

  2. Stay at home mothers who drop off and pick up kids each day from school. UberPool works out best in this situation as the cost is less and there are four trips involved each day.

  • Home to school in morning (mom + kid)

  • School to home in morning (mom)

  • Home to school in evening (mom)

  • School to home in evening (mom + kid)

Customer journey map
Existing challenges

Let us consider the scenario #2 as it involves multiple trips each day. Some of the challenges in the existing scenario are

  • Some mothers do not use a smartphone and rely on the spouse to book a cab.

  • A lot of stay at home moms do not use a credit card. So they have to rely on tendering exact cash for payment.

  • Booking (and making payment such as credit card) 4 times a day is a tedious and time consuming activity.

Proposed solution

In order to alleviate these problems, an option to do a recurring booking would be helpful. Parent can select a time, number of seats and days required (usually Monday through Friday).

  • Once the booking is made, the user gets a notification about the upcoming booking. The user is allowed to cancel the booking (if required) within a certain time period . If no action is taken, then a cab would arrive at the doorstep at the requested time.

  • The booking can be managed (edited/deleted) from the Upcoming Trips section in the app.

One major addition suggested would be a dedicated digital wallet for Uber. It will be highly useful for users who use the app multiple times a day without having to authorise credit card transactions or carrying exact change all the time. While there is an option to like PayTm wallet, it is not an ideal solution. PayTm can be used across several sites and the balance would have be topped up repeatedly, making it similar to using a credit card. Just as Uber team figured out the importance of including cash payments, it is time to consider having a dedicated wallet. Competitors such as Ola use such wallets to a great advantage.

Wireframe

User flow for booking a recurring ride

Business benefits
  • Cost of acquisition for customer goes down as recurring revenue is generated

  • The afternoon time slot during which school ends is a lean period during which there are not much cab bookings, now it can be better utilised. 

Key outcomes
  • Ease the process of booking and making payments for rides repeated on the same route.

Edit booking details

Notification about upcoming trip