I managed to considerably reduce my travel expenses.
I was having a conversation with my friends, and all of us had one complaint: how expensive ride-hailing apps had gotten. The cheapest viable option for us on any ride-hailing app would usually be a rickshaw since the bike option is seldom a choice women are comfortable with in the first place.
On average my daily commute would still cost me upwards of PKR 500 and was seriously eating away at my finances.
And considering the public transport system in the city is unreliable, I was at a loss. But then I came across what turned out to be a solution for my issue. My friend in Askari 11 had started using an app-based bus service called ‘Airlift’. She told me they had multiple routes throughout the city and all of them just cost PKR 50!
I looked into the app and decided to try it out. The nearest bus stop from my place was about a 7-minute walk which was pretty doable and it dropped off at about a 4-minute walk from my office. And honestly, it has been a heaven-sent solution. My daily spend on my commute has been reduced by more than two-thirds of what it was!
Not only that, the service even feels safer. Since it is public transport, every time I have used it, there are about half a dozen or so other people on the ride as well. And usually, half the passengers are women.
The only hassle I found was the walk to the bus stop from my place since it’s the peak of summer. But that problem was solved easily; I take a rickshaw to the bus stop. And because you can track the bus, I time it perfectly so I get there just when the bus comes.
My experience with the service has been amazing so far. So, I decided to get in touch with the people behind Airlift to find out more about it.
The idea for the app came to CEO Usman Gul when he was taking a rickshaw from Packages Mall to DHA. “ I couldn’t help but wonder why so many people heading in the same direction at the same time were using different vehicles”, he shares. And that’s when the idea for Airlift was conceptualized.
The company wants to help convenience the middle class by providing a commute service which is high in convenience and low in cost at the same time.
And of course, I had to ask about safety. After reading account after account on social media by women who had nightmarish experiences in rides they had booked through ride-hailing apps, I wanted to know if security was a priority for the company.
“We do a lot of checks and balances before recruiting our drivers. We also track the location of the vehicle in real-time and do not allow deviations from the route”, said Usman Gul.
And honestly, after having used the app for the last few weeks. I am incredibly happy that such a service has started out in Pakistan. In times when everything related to commuting seems to be getting more and more expensive, it’s nice to know that Airlift is providing an amazing service at such a low cost.
You can download the Airlift app here.
Cover Image Source: Voice of Wadi