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OurBus Aims To Cut Commuting Costs, Travel Time

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Commuters board the OurBus bus at Times Square in New York City. Photo: Mike Virdi.


Mike Virdi hated his commute into New York City, so he decided to do something about it.

For decades, Virdi said, he either had to take a “long, slow bus ride” to his job in New York City, or else “drive 20 minutes to the train station, pay for parking and then get on the train for an hour.”

Moving to the township last year didn’t help matters, he said.

That is, until he spoke with his friend, Narinder Singh, who has a background in transportation logistics.

The two created a technology platform that allows commuters to control their own commute, Virdi said. After several months of testing and striking deals with charter bus companies that have excess capacity, the partners launched OurBus.

“We launched our first route from my home to my work in order to test and improve our technology,” Virdi said.

Two months later, the service is catching on, Virdi said.

“Since then, we have had new riders join us every week and on a typical day, the bus is mostly full,” he said. “Given the success of the route we hope to expand to another route within the coming weeks.”

OurBus works with existing charter bus companies, so it can keep its fares low, Virdi said. The current one-way fare from Franklin to New York is $8, he said, with a round-trip ticket costing $14 and a monthly pass costing $220.

Morning and evening passes – “meant to give flexibility to commuters who have a different commute in the morning and evening,” Virdi said – cost $110.

For monthly pass purchasers, OurBus offers a “roll-over” of unused trips, Virdi said.

“If you buy a monthly pass but you will be taking a day off from work, we will credit you for that day’s ride with 24 hours’ notice,” he said. “The value can be applied to the next month’s pass. This feature means that you only have to pay for the rides you actually take.”

Verdi said OurBus cuts about an hour off the typical commuter’s travel time.

Currently, the OurBus bus leaves the Kendall Park roller skating rink park & ride on Route 27 at 6:55 a.m., and leaves Times Square in New York City at 6 p.m. Departure times and pickup locations can be modified based on consumer requests, according to a release about the business.

Virdi said township residents can sign up for the service at its web site.

 

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Copyright 2016 The Franklin Reporter & Advocate
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