Wading through the traffic

Wading through the traffic

Carpooling is a relatively new trend that’s catching up among the people of Bengaluru, who are fed-up of dealing with the horrendous traffic.

While it has many advantages like being cost-effective, reducing traffic and parking problems, and financial and environmental benefits, it also poses a safety concern. But despite its pros and cons, carpooling is seen as an effective way to commute.

“The whole concept of carpooling began after the Bangalore airport was shifted to Devanahalli, which is located far away from the city limits. People began to share their cars with other passengers who commute towards the same route.

It is common among the IT sector. Lately, carpooling from work to home has become quite frequent and now with advanced virtual communication, people do not hesitate to take short  trips to different cities like Mysore, Hubli and Chennai with unknown people,” says Anita N, who carpooled from Bangalore to Chennai twice.

It was when DR Prasad Gupta, a retired State Bank of India employee, carpooled with a neighbour for a function that it occurred to him the benefits of such an act.

“Parking has become a huge problem in Bangalore these days and carpooling can reduce this problem, and it saves up on fuel. In this age, people interact mostly on WhatsApp and social networking sites and not with a person sitting in front of them. But carpooling brings people together. It enhances personal interaction and provides great company rather than driving alone.”

Carpooling with neighbours and co-workers is the most common way to commute as there is a sense of security. But this has changed as people turn more to social networking sites and dedicated apps that allows you to get in touch with other commuters.

There are apps that allow you to login in through Facebook or LinkedIn and let you to commute with your mutual friends, without risking your safety.

The apps also allow you to have certain specifications like women can request for other women commuters. Apps like ‘RideShare’, ‘Carworld’, ‘PoolCircle’, ‘Carpool Karo’, ‘Commute Easy’, ‘Carpooling’, ‘Ridingo’ and ‘Poolmycar’ have become popular. 

Sushma, a carpooler says, “Today flight tickets are comparatively cheaper than going to the Bangalore International Airport. There are many who commute to the airport on regular bases so carpooling in this situation is imperative.”

Meghana A, another carpooler, shares a few checklist before you start carpooling, “Always meet your carpool person in the public place, record the driver’s license and car registration information and give the information to your friends and family. Avoid giving out personal information to strangers, and do not listen to music or talk over the phone.”

Regular carpoolers say that there are certain etiquettes that needs to be followed when carpooling. “When carpooling, it is always good to be there on the spot ahead of time and not make a person wait. If you know driving, offer to drive. Take turns driving, depending on the number of people in the car, and divide the cost of fuel depending  on the number of people in the car,” says Raghu R, a professional who commutes with his colleagues.

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