Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Grallo, The Journey So Far

In the blink of an eye 2013 is over and Grallo is one year old. And what an eventful year it was!

From India’s colorful North to its lovely South, from its far East to the Western coast: Grallo has had the pleasure of working all over India this past year. We’ve gotten to work in Pune, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Delhi, Kolkata, Ooty, Coimbatore and of course, our very own Bangalore.

Grallo provided transportation solutions to all kinds of events events from small to big to enormous. These included TCS 10K Marathon, Sunday Soul Sante, IDEA Rocks India, Tiesto, Bacardi NH7 Weekender - Pune, Bangalore, Delhi & Kolkata, Magnetic Fields, Peace One Day, the goMAD Festival, the Great Indian Octoberfest, Zambhala, Submerge Goa Project, Sunburn, Sound Awake & City of M.

Though we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the events we’ve attended and the cities we’ve visited, we at Grallo most proud of the environmental impact we’ve had this past year. In 2013, we served 5311 passengers through 223 rides and 63 carpools and in doing so we’ve saved 15 tons of carbon. We’d like to extend a big thank you to the Grallo travellers for making this achievement possible..

Overall 2013 was great and we are geared up to make 2014 bigger and better!!.

The Grallo Team.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Good Collisions: The Future of Travel Entertainment

When one generally reflects upon collisions and transportation, one cannot help but think negatively. After all, it is generally advisable to avoid collisions while in transport. But this blog is about positive collisions. It’s a blog about the future of transportation entertainment. A blog about collisions between transportation and technology. (Unless of course you begin thinking about that Kaiju, from Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, or the other even more bizarre fantasy, the Jaegers. In which case the entertainment starts to look decidedly scary.


Moving on from fantastical movies we reflect upon transportation and entertainment. Gone are the days of "I spy with my little eye", "Animal. Vegetable. Mineral", or the other games, more sophisticated families played involving long words and numbers. Personal devices like walkmans started encroaching on these games long ago and now we are at a tipping point.

We now live in a world of tablets, wifi, virtual clouds, apps, or even "I beacons". Mobile technology advancements mean that you are not only more connected to the online world while you travel, but also to your favourite entertainment. And you can share that entertainment as you travel. Safety, communication, and personal entertainment are all enhanced in one foul swoop. “I Spy” is once and for all banished from the journey. We are now at a time when we can bring enhanced entertainment to the journey. Like a "Pacific Rim", god forbid, or your favourite Spotify playlist..

So with a car and a tablet: the tablet connects to the sound system, the TV. The phone syncs with the tablet and entertainment is seamlessly shared, no cables. Gone are the days of forgetting aux cables, here are the days of seamless integration.
One more thought before I lose my tentative grasp on your waning attention span. Let’s take the example of a taxi: connect your smart phone, play your tunes through our taxi's system, download your journey to the sat nav, import location of the friend you're picking, pass and pick up some opportunistic guy going in the same direction (use an I beacon for that), then pay on your handset (no more running around for an ATM), split the fare with your fellow socialist sharing compatriots and, all the while, fight about whose playlist you are going to play. Though we’re past the days of "I spy with my little eye", there's still a fight. Unless, of course, you connect your Sonos and play separate tunes from separate speakers, you might need a sound wall.... I'm gettiing back into Kaiju territory here....but the point remains: Technology is colliding with transport and there's some exciting journeys to be had.

- Tom Ansell

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Live the future today

Monday morning. After having a long conversation with myself, I finally manage to drag myself out of the bed.
Why the hell I am even doing this ?? This question kept ringing in my ears louder than the sound of my throbbing head. Twenty minutes down the lane, running late for the fest that I couldn't wait for, contemplating ways to make my money stretch just a little further.

The holiday I always wanted to go on, the GPU I had a crush on, a pet T-rex maybe: was there anyway I could do any of these without having to sell both my kidneys?
Then it hit me, like a high five... on my face... with a baseball bat.
What if I picked someone up on the way and made a few bucks out of it? Plus that would be better for the environment!

Sounds good, doesn't it?

Share your journeys, meet some new people, pick up a little local lingo and maybe, maybe even meet someone special.

Here at Grallo, that's what we do, and we are well on our way to make a difference. Still have questions? I bet you do. Hit up the link, and live the future today.

- Swaraj Giri

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bangalore Bliss

Bangalore’s traffic is unlike any I’ve ever seen in my life. Part of that may be the cows, plodding along, stopping traffic as they please, but it’s more than that. It’s the gridlock. The previously unimaginable pace at which motor vehicles crawl along the pothole-ridden asphalt. In a city that’s expanded as quickly as Bangalore has, I suppose it’s not surprising. Nonetheless I never fail to be shocked at just how slow cars, autos, trucks and the occasional bovine can actually move.
Above the city, gliding effortlessly from one well-off neighborhood to another, the sparkling Bangalore metro presides smugly over the gridlock below. It’s by far the cleanest metro I’ve ever ridden and the security is second to none. But the slow pace of construction and limited geographic range of service means it’s yet to become a viable alternative for the vast majority of Bangaloreans. I personally take an auto to get to the closest stop and use it only to go to one destination. And my main motivation, besides avoiding sitting in traffic filling my lungs with fumes, is the blissful feeling of gliding above the city soaking in the bird’s eye view.
Until the metro expands its services and becomes more than a novelty, new solutions are necessary to save Bangalore from its notorious reputation and, more importantly, to save its residents from death by fumes.
Journey sharing is a unique solution to this problem. One that makes sense in a city like Bangalore that has expanded so much that people feel disconnected and distant. When I get on the metro I plug in my headphones and try not to make eye contact. In someone’s car I can’t help but ask questions, look for commonalities, make a connection.

That’s why I work for Grallo. I believe not only in sustainable transportation solutions to urban expansion but also in social solutions.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Travel Singularity

"Screw this."

Q stormed out of office, fumbling for his bike keys on the way down the stairs, two steps at a time. The Friday evening dusk caught him off-guard: the day had gone by rather quickly.


He'd had enough. He plugged in his earphones and shut everything else out. He'd been listening to atmospheric metal of late and found it a great substitute for white-noise, for when he didn't want to think of anything in particular - just what he needed. He pedaled his way home, cadence in sync with the music.

"I need to get away."

At home, he fired up his mammoth desktop and settled comfortably into the hardwood chair in his rented room. A friend had told him about this travel website, not the typical run-of-the-mill ones you encounter otherwise, this was different he'd been told. He directed his browser to

What opened was a huge map: no menu, no links, no text

"Okay.. What do I do with this? Oh.."

The map had suddenly come live. Q saw on his 24-inch screen a myriad of dots and colorful, squiggly lines  showing people travelling in real-time. A bunch of people were on their way to Pondicherry on a bus, a lone traveler was battling the way to Ladakh on his bike. Groups of people were making plans for Christmas and the New Year. A large number of people were heading for the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Kolkata, others buying bus tickets for the Sunburn festival. Q saw people were sharing their journeys with friends and strangers, all in in one place.

It was surreal - he'd suddenly been granted access to a very exclusive voyager network. It seemed like a whole new world from where he sat, on his uncomfortable chair, after a bad day at office and a few monotonous months at life..

"How do I get in? I need in on this..."

In a corner of this magical window he saw words that made his heart race: “Start a journey with someone today.”

Coming soon from Grallo.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

India DOES carpooling, its only unaware of it

Its 9 o'clock in the evening and I wait at the Indiranagar bus stop hoping that the bus will arrive. Hoping is the integral word here, as there’s no certainty that my bus will arrive.

As I wait, a car stops by near the bus stop. Some people enquire the route the car is going to take & climb on. The car moves on & one word slips in my mind, “carpool”.

This type of informal carpooling happens regularly, and especially during the evening hours. Not only cars, but many private shuttles also practise this & they do it with the objective of earning some extra bucks. The drivers & passengers might not be aware of the terminology, but they do practice carpooling. This is one of the reasons why I feel carpool will work out in India. Its just that people have to be made more aware of & make them believe carpool is efficient & safe, which of course is the toughest part.

The concept of carpooling can be implemented easily in housing colonies & corporate companies. Incentives should be used to promote the concept, the benefits highlighted and the simplicity explained. If this is all done well, there is no reason why it should not be a “hit” in India, (as I mentioned it already is). Moreover, if undertaken at a housing colony or corporate, the main concern “safety” can be overcome, due to the proximity of the sharer, and the necessary background checks having already taken place to get people into these communities.

Carpooling is a newer concept but as described above a lot many people, unknowingly, are practicing it. We all know the various benefits associated with carpool. Its only a matter of initiative & awareness which is required for it to really get going in earnest, and save us all those boring minutes waiting for a bus, or sitting in a yet another traffic jam.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Transport woes adding to climate changes

As pollution levels rise, India is in grave danger. The number of vehicles on the road increases month by month, day by day, and subsequently pollution levels are rising dramatically above safe limits. Time is running out to rectify the damage done by mankind. Writes Mangesh Ashrit of Grallo.

A news report in Zee News states the area & the ground near Victoria Memorial in Kolkata has become unsafe for morning joggers & walkers. The report says the average Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) level from 4 AM to 8 AM is 227 mg/m3 whereas the limit is 100 mg/m3. Around 1000 vehicles pass by that area every hour. This is one example of many that could be cited in India and other cities around the world.

The recent disaster in Philippines, “Typhoon Haiyan”, is the jewel in the crown of this year’s extraordinary typhoon calendar, and experts have cited climate change as a cause. Typhoon Haiyan hit at a speed of 230 Km/H for about 10 minutes and went up to 315 Km/H for a about a minute. The preliminary stats on damage caused $858.6 million & 2,300 are reporded dead with the number set to rise.

While the science of the effects of transport pollution on our weather systems are immensely complex few dispute that green house gas emissions has speeded up climatic change. The SPM levels are conclusive, they are bad for your health and reduce your quality of life and quality of the surrounds of where you live and work.

One way to reduce your carbon emissions in our daily lives is reducing the amount we use private vehicles. Sharing your journey to the office instead of taking an individual vehicle, is a great way to cut down on personal emissions. Here is an article on some folks at Kanakapura in Bangalore, India who are already carpooling to their offices.  

At Grallo we believe in trying to improve the worlds environment, and we believe that society will benefit from being more closely connected. In sharing journeys you can do all of that and more. Every little helps, so try to do your bit for today.