Recently Xemo team were invited to exhibit at the upcoming National Roads & Traffic Expo in Melbourne. This is an unique opportunities to meet some of the key government and public transport key stakeholders and organisations. Wait, it’s a transport Expo! We are pleased to provide an on-demand free shuttle for National Roads & Traffic Expo. Our shuttle will run across South Melbourne shuttling around some of the popular hotels and accommodations. It would take up to 20 mins walk or $5-$10 by taxi. With Xemo, it’s free! Just book and select your pickup point, and that’s it.
We are super excited to launch a new feature to support our great partner Wynbus from Point Cook.
Wynbus is a government funded local community project which provides a mobility solution to the local residents by using a number of minibuses to shuttles residents to train station.
The idea is to help reduce the traffic congestion and car park spaces needed.
Xemo is chosen to the key technology partner to provide the booking capability.
Instead of a open search, we can now display Wynbus Routes to choose from. You can select Wynbus A, Wynbus B and Wynbus B.
Simply click on a hub (or virtual bus stop), it will show you the time and route.
The cost starts from $2 per trip per ride.
Book your Wynbus using Xemo to commute in a better and SMARTER way.
Xemo team has been busy enhancing its features on the Xemo mobility product to deliver a solution for one of its partners WYNBUS. Suffice to say the two teams came together at a very crucial time to address the growing complaints and challenges of point cook residents for daily commute.
We wanted to share a bit about the partnership thats been brewing in the background while the commuter frustration has been building at the same time.
The point cook action group* is one of the most progressive organisations in the western suburbs. Last year they came up with an innovative idea of solving the seemingly endless commuter woes by raising an idea called WYNBUS – MOBILITY ON DEMAND for Wyndham**.
Xemo became ideal partner for technology since we are a Melbourne based tech startup and many members of Xemo team are facing the commuting challenges every day. The insights that Xemo could provide and the vision of WYBUS were an ideal match. Such partnerships are rare but very invaluable.
When Xemo and WYNBUS met each other it seemed like a marriage made in heaven. Xemo was already building its mobile platform for a cheap and crowdsourced transport options and had commissioned a few services for corporate staff, school runs and a community on western suburbs. It was obvious that Xemo platform could offer a lot o the WYNBUS initiative. WYNBUS was kind enough to trust us from technology perspective.
Today we are glad to see all the hard work come to fruition after lots of collaborative meetings, calls, and planning sessions. The WYNBUS on demand service will start from 25th Aug in point cook area and we look hope to see a change in the way Point cook folks commute to work in a – affordable , safe and eco friendly way using WYNBUS.
* More about POINT COOK ACTION GROUP can be seen here https://www.pointcookactiongroup.org.au/
** More about WYNBUS can be read here https://www.wynbus.org.au/wynbus/
Let me explain the photo. These are car parked on the nature strip before 7 AM on a Friday near the station because there is no parking available by that time. I am willing to bet that this is a pretty much the case across all stations in Melbourne suburbs.
I can also narrate some interesting things I know people are doing to overcome the parking problem apart from leaving at 6.00 AM in morning
The “No Parking! No Problem!” method
Some are paying home owners near the station to rent their carport.
The “You owe me” method
Use Whats-app to broadcast when you leave home whoever says “I am in” gets a seat. You are then expected to return the favor.
The “Car-bus-tram-bus-car” method
People are parking in lanes which are closer to a bus stop.
The “Switch and Swap” method
One partner leaving early in the morning while the other takes a bus and then 1st coming back in bus while the second brings the car back.
As much as all these approaches sounds creative they lack a few key aspects – reliability and repeatability . Some require too much coordination while others solve only part of the problem. The first mile – going to station may be addressed but the last mile from station to home is still a challenge.
Xemo shuttles aims to solve the first mile and last mile problem. We are building a platform for crowd sourcing the demand and organize the supply. We are driven to solve three main challenges Right People. Right place. Right time
Please register interest if you are keen to hop on the Xemo shuttle coming to your suburb soon.
Having shared the Xemo shuttle service launch plans with many friends and networks, I realised it is not clear to many, on how the xemo shuttle service will operate. Our guests( we call our customers – guest) are feeling a confused on how this whole concept works in reality.
At Xemo the goal is to make commuting a stress free experience. We want to be the Netflix equivalent when it comes to commuting.
I will elaborate how the smarts within our app and the serviceability rules in our operations will help us become the “Netflix of commuting”
What makes Xemo Shuttle different ?
- Xemo shuttle is a minibus/minivan – 12 seater ( driver included) – more capacity than a car and better manoeuvrability than a bus.
- Xemo is a point to point service without any stoppages.
- Being a no stoppage service means Xemo shuttle will pick up guest from one common point and drop at a common point. e.g estate community club to metro station.
- e.g community park to metro station.
- Xemo shuttle will run only when there are minimum 6 people willing to use a service (for short distance at least). To keep the cost down we need to operate on economy of scale.
- Xemo shuttle booking will be at least 36 hrs in advance initially. Unless we get a consistency in demand and guest feel comfortable we will keep our operations very conservative.
- Xemo shuttle will charge the guest only after the service is run.
- Cancellations will not be allowed 24 hrs before the scheduled service. Crowdsourcing our demand means that one change can impact many guests and hence we want to discourage last minute cancellations
- A “no show” for a service will be charged to Xemo guest. The benefits of crowdsourcing help us keep the cost minimum, effectively any no shows cannot be absorbed at last minutes.
- All bookings , payments and tracking will be done via Xemo App which will be available to download soon.
- Xemo App is building smarts to identify the nearest pick up and drop spots for all guests based on their preferred search.
- Xemo app is building the smarts in the app to add new services based on the most searched routes.
- Xemo will not hold any sensitive personal information of our guests such as Credit Card Number , home address, date of birth etc.
- Xemo will only ask you for email and phone so that we can send you app notifications and emails when we introduce new services and app features.
I have previously mentioned how Xemo is trying to address the growing need of commuter. This one further elaborates why we think we need to bring a service to our community and that the potential impact of Xemo offering is not a pipe dream.
What do the studies tell us?
As per the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) of the United nations 55% of world’s population lives in urban area. This proportion is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. The study further projects that 2.5 billion people will be in urban areas by 2050.
This study was published in November 2018. This means we are already playing catch up in the Mobility as a Service space.
If telcos went through a transformation tsunami on the back of technology innovations then the next tsunami in our lifestyle, we believe, will be in the transportation industry. By marrying technology and transportation there will be a new way people will move from point A to point B cheaper, faster and safer. The technology innovation is not only about autonomous vehicles. It extends to other opportunities such as a marketplace for consumer and operators. Customers can choose the right mode of transport at the right time. Operators can create demand based pricing models , seamless digital payments, and integration with other traditional businesses with retail , tourism and airlines, hospitality etc.
Millennial do not care about car ownership anymore.
There are a lot of publications and reports that suggest that the millennial do not really aspire to “buy a car”, at least not as much as the baby boomers. And when I read the sources independently it was very straightforward to connect the dots between Urbanization and lack of car ownership motivations. Pay per use model, subscription model, no ownership – no maintenance mindset, has a big role to play among the millennial.
Just build more roads and fix it for once please.
The “Induced Demand” phenomenon means once the supply increases, more of a good is consumed. This is consistent with the economic theory of supply and demand; However the same idea i.e. more roads = reduced congestion has become controversial. In fact it is debatable whether increasing roadway traffic capacity can ever cure congestion problems.
The Personal impact
It requires no PhD to acknowledge that a daily commute to office in personal car has significant impact on
- Budget/Cost – fuel, parking and tolls , insurance, depreciation, taxes etc as examples.
- Opportunity cost – lack of productive time (to get things done), available time (to connect), development time – personal and business (to study, new business opportunities etc).
- Health and well-being – the harm we do to our body especially related to back pain, obesity and stress are well-known and well documented due to lengthy “idle” time in our vehicles.
The Xemo App
Given the study, common sense and observations around us what will a little service like Xemo do?
Obviously Xemo shuttle cannot take the problem head on and solve all of world problems. Instead we will provide some services like Xemo Shuttle which will make a very small but hopefully meaningful impact. We like to think about it as “one seat at a time”, meaning if we can move one seat from the car to occupy one seat in Xemo shuttle on a long distance or to the nearest metro station then we are making a difference.
Imagine 10 people who would otherwise take 10 cars , 10 parking spots, pay for parking or even walk for 10 minutes from parking to the station instead just hopped on a Xemo shuttle and hopped off at the train station.
By the way we do not undermine the benefits of existing public transport system at all. In fact we believe that optimal utilization of such expensive infrastructure network can be further improved and utilized by building on demand micro-transit services as an extension. Xemo shuttle is an on demand micro-transit platform which will build a market place based on demand aggregation and smart supply management.
The Xemo Shuttle
Xemo app allows us to crowd source the demand from people who are going in same direction, at same time, from the same place and have a consistent pattern.
Instead of driving your own car which will take each of you individually to your destination (Melbourne CBD / Metro station or and back) a Xemo shuttle will be available at a common (and convenient) pick up point and drop everyone at a common (and convenient) drop point.
Xemo shuttles will be faster than a traditional bus because Xemo shuttles are 12 seater and run from point A to point B without any stoppages.
We will be cheaper than car services because we will have economy of scale in our operations as we carry more seats per trip. We will pass on the benefits of economies of scale to your wallet.
We will be environmentally friendlier because our aim is to move to electric buses as soon as possible and feasible. The E in the XEMO stands for electric , efficient and economical :).
This will hopefully have positive cascading impact across many aspects such as reducing traffic congestion, avoiding parking hassles, relaxing and stress-free commute and of course reduced carbon foot print per person.
If you are keen to help Xemo change the world one seat at a time please register for interest here
I have been stranded and had similar experience on another Metro line not too long ago. Not once but 3 successive Fridays of a month. However yesterday was a bit nastier because of the soaring mercury level. I am no expert on making judgments of what, why and how this happened. However I have been on the receiving end far too many times to shrug my shoulder and move on.
As mentioned in the blogs previously , one of the core reasons why we are building Xemo is to be able to help our Melbourne commuters find alternative options during such times. Of course we are not building the Xemo mobility platform for such times only. And we also do not claim that you won’t have to face such challenges ever when you are a Xemo guest.
After all there is only so many roads and the capacity. However being a Xemo guest allows you to weigh your options and alternatives when it matters most.
- Do you have to wait for replacements bus to take you?
- Do you have to stand and get pushed and shoved every time there is a disruption ?
- Do you have to jump on to whatsapp / phone calls / SMS etc to figure out who else is going in same direction at same time and willing to share a cab ?
- Do you have to put up with price surge hike during such times by other alternative transport providers ?
Xemo team says no to each of the questions above. With on demand, crowdsourced, point to point, non stop shuttle services, Xemo aims to overcome some of the challenges of our commuting with a bit more CARE. If you are curious to know more please register here.
Has your airlines search ever thrown up search results for Scoot airline (a subsidiary of Singapore Air), Swoop airlines (part of West Jet), Spirit airlines, or Tiger air? Then you already know what low cost airlines are.
Some of the common characteristics of a low cost airlines are
- Primarily point-to-point operations
- Short-haul routes, often between regional or secondary airports
- Limited passenger services, with additional charges for some services (e.g., on-board catering)
- A very high proportion of bookings made through the Internet
- High aircraft utilization rates, with short turnaround between operations
- A simple management and overhead structure with a lean strategic decision-making process
There are quite a few more but mostly relevant to aviation industry. I picked these only because I see a lot of similarity between these low cost airlines and Xemo. The similarities are deep rooted in the operations and philosophy of both kinds of business
Let go through each of these items one by one
- Primarily point-to-point operations – Xemo aims to run point to point non-stop shuttles between two places. If you want to board Xemo you will have to come to a nearest convenient Xemo stop (which we call internally as Xemo hub) and alight at a specific Xemo stop. Xemo already has designated Xemo pick up and drop off locations which integrate with existing infrastructure like Train stations or on Fringes of Mel CBD. If we do not have one that is convenient to you we have a “crowd start” a new route option in our app as well.
- Short-haul routes, often between regional or secondary airports – Xemo make similar arrangements with its suburban friendly shuttles which means that you can continue to use the Mel metro if that is most convenient way to get into CBD and use the Xemo service for short haul – home to station.
- Limited passenger services, with additional charges for some services (e.g., on-board catering) – Obviously only a part of this principles applies to Xemo (since local commuting does not require catering or in-flight entertainment services). We open our services only on those routes where we have enough and consistent demand. To keep our operational costs minimum we have to rely upon a consistent demand hence we encourage our guests to “crowd start” a service to main consistency of service.
- A very high proportion of bookings made through the Internet – Xemo is essentially a demand aggregation and booking platform. Hence it is prudent that we built smart technology solution to meet all customer needs such as – establishing new routes, bookings, scheduling, tracking, payments and customer service as well.
- High aircraft utilization rates, with short turnaround between operations – Running multiple shuttles within the same route during peak hours is how we ensure maximum utilization of assets for our operators.
- A simple management and overhead structure with a lean strategic decision-making process – being a technology startup based on kick starter concept (by crowd starting shuttle service routes) the Xemo team makes pragmatic and practical business decisions instead of popular decisions.
Mobility as a service market is expected to grow to US$ 358.35 billion by 2025 from US$ 38.76 billion in 2017. But what is mobility as a service anyways ?
Mobility as a Service or MaaS is a fundamental shift in the way people will consider their transportation needs in the future. MaaS is described as a shift from personally-owned modes of transportation towards mobility solutions that are consumed as a service. In other words a move away from ownership based model to consumption based model.
The key words here are mobility and service.
The way we explain ourselves of this model at Xemo is akin to the mobile plan. Think of your existing mobile plan and how the service is consumed. Each component of your service is independent. Data(GB), speed, local calls, text messaging, international calls, international roaming, calls within network or outside each component can bundled up or purchased separately. The Telcos do not mandate your purchase plans. They just offer you in the way you like it. Generally if you package them together you get cheaper price while individual plans may be a bit dearer. Some plans, like the one I use for my 8 year old son has limited data per month (my idea of creating value is by making something feel exclusive thus driving a prudent usage). Not only that, consumer can also calibrate the needs of different services at different times. For example during overseas holiday I can buy a specific plan which has roaming included at a cheaper price while during other times of year I may chose not to pay for it at all.
Now let’s try to relate it to the Mobility as a Service model.
Let’s say you go from your house to Melbourne CBD every day for work. 1 way you would do this is Car – Train – Walk/Tram. The challenges in this model perhaps are traffic congestion, lack of parking, standing in trains, disruption of schedule and overall lack of reliability. Even if today you may not run into these issues sooner or later we will be. All stats and research have proven the inevitable. Like almost everything else happening around us things need to change, and we need to adapt and adjust – sooner the better.
The other option would be to get in your car and drive straight to CBD. And we all know how time consuming and un reliable such commutes are unless you leave home before 7 AM and return after 6 PM.
Current transportation facility does not allow you to do much more than that.
Now imagine the same commute.
You take an electric scooter from your house to the nearest public transport hub (what we call as Xemo Hub) board a shuttle which takes you straight to the station without any stops, and you board the train and finally walked (or even cycled) to your office which is just 5 minutes away. And now extend that idea to be able to do so anywhere around the Australia or even around the world. Just like your phone can work anywhere around the world.
And all of this without having to own anything. The scooters are all parked at the end of your street which is unlocked via a QR code. It can be used by anyone who has the correct QR code (The place where you leave the scooter is a pick up point for someone else). As soon as you board the shuttle a specific amount is deducted from your digital wallet. When you get to CBD you unlock a bike (left by someone) to ride to office and park the bike at the stand and lock it away.
All of this coordinated via an app so neither do you miss a ride nor do you waste any time.
The above case can extend to many scenarios. Getting to work. Getting to university. Go to conference in a new city. Offsite for a team. All you have to do is configure your travel plans to suit your demand for that time. For example in case of a company offsite you could simply come to a xemo hub and take your bus to the destination and on your way back configure your travel to go back straight home instead of going to office and then home.
That is in a nutshell the idea behind “Mobility As A Service“. The promise of MaaS is
- Increased utilisation (Every available seat is used)
- Better connectivity of resources (Scooter,Shuttle,Train,Tram/Cycle)
- Better connection between different modes.
- Reduce waiting time. React smartly to disruption.
- Demand based configuration of travel plans
Let’s look at some of the companies already operating in the MaaS ecosystem. We are all pretty much aware of the giants in this space such as Uber, Ola, Grab. These are typically in the ride hailing business. The ride-sharing services include UberPool (https://www.uber.com), GrabCar (https://www.grab.com/ph/car/),CarNextDoor(https://www.carnextdoor.com.au/). Then there are new services coming up for short distance single person rides such as Limebike (https://www.li.me) or Mobike(https://mobike.com/). On the Mass transit side there are companies who are trying their best to bring economies of scale into this model such as Bridj and chariot (https://www.chariot.com/) and of course Xemo – which is not just a managing and scheduling app but also cuts through the entire demand and supply equation to address mass mobility in business class style.
The MaaS market is as unique as every person who wants the service from a demand perspective. Just like Uber demand is as unique as every person who needs a cab. The supply side of MaaS market is also very varied and big. Ride Share, Ride Hail, Car Share and so on.
No wonder the Mobility as a service market is expected to grow to US$ 358.35 billion by 2025 from US$ 38.76 billion in 2017.