There’s a new way to travel in Shenzhen and Liu couldn’t be happier. Working at Tencent in Nanshan District, Liu needed to face crowded buses or walk more than 20 minutes from the nearest Metro station to her office. No more, thanks to Didi Bus, which was launched yesterday in Shenzhen.
“The bus service is nice because it runs along Nanping Expressway and saves time for me. I felt like a VIP because there are not so many people taking it on the first day,” Liu said.
Didi Bus is a phone app and private bus service run by Didi Kuaidi. Didi Bus sets bus routes based on commuters’ needs.
App users can also request the creation of new bus routes, meaning more convenient trips across the city and more money for Didi Kuaidi.
The service also looks to be more efficient than traditional buses by only stopping at destinations based on the needs of riders. If no one is getting on at a particular bus stop, the bus won’t stop.
“The number of riders is increasing, compared with the first two-day trial period, and with the popularity of the service, more and more people will take it,” said an employee at Didi Kuaidi’s Shenzhen branch.
Currently Didi Bus has 10 routes running through Shenzhen. The bus routes cover areas where public transport is insufficient and often crowded.
Until Thursday riders can ride Didi Bus for 0.01 yuan (US$0.0015) per trip, according to the operator. After Thursday, bus prices will range between 7 to 13 yuan. Currently there is no English version of the app.
Zhang, who lives in Xixiang in Bao’an and works in central Futian, said Didi Bus will save him time commuting and is easier than navigating Shenzhen’s public transport.
“It’s a headache commuting every day. There’s no direct bus from my home to the office. The shuttle bus is more convenient than the Metro,” said Zhang.
Kuaidi put 33 routes into operation in Beijing yesterday. It will open more than 100 routes by the end of the month in Beijing and Shenzhen through cooperation with tourist bus companies.
By logging onto the WeChat account of Didi Bus, commuters can reserve a seat for the buses linking Shenzhen Science and Technology Park with Minzhi in Longhua New Area, and Buxin and Shuibei in Luohu District; Bantian with Futian CBD and Nantou in Nanshan District; or Minzhi in Longhua New Area with World Trade Plaza Center in Luohu.