Carpooling takes small but steady steps to unchoke City's roads

3,100 techies register with 'Let's drive along' app to travel to office

Carpooling takes small but steady steps to unchoke City's roads

A section of Information Technology (IT) professionals has found a way of not only cutting down the number of vehicles on the City’s traffic-filled roads, but also reducing the carbon footprint.

At least 3,100 software professionals have registered with the website/app, ‘Let’s drive along’, and nearly 900 more are waiting to create groups to carpool to travel to office.

Gururaj Bhat, a software professional who has been actively using the carpooling app for the last four months, said that it really helped him to find a ride at any point of time as all he needed to do was to poke the person in his group for the ride. “We have about six members in our group who travel from Padmanabhanagar and the surrounding areas to Electronics City for work. As there is no monetary transaction, the only thing we do is share the toll,” he added.

Another techie, Pramod Sripathi, said that through the carpooling app, he had made new friends other than his colleagues. “I can always bank on the carpooling friends to get a ride even late at night, which was not possible when I used other transport which had fixed timings. Now, I know I can get a ride from my place in Kanakapura Road to Manyatha Tech Park at a convenient time,” he added.

‘Let’s drive along’ began last year but took off just eight months ago, according to Srinath S, co-founder and CEO, Spantad Solutions. “We have 3,000-odd software professionals registered for the app and over 900 users who have sent requests waiting to form groups, of which nearly 600 of them have accepted the requests to pool their car to ride to office,” he said.

But Srinath regrets that the initiative had not been able to achieve the desired target of reducing the carbon footprint. “We have managed to reduce just 58,300 km of car drives on the road, which is not much given the potential of Bengaluru,” he added.

One of the reasons, Srinath went on, could be the lack of a big marketing campaign to prod more people into using the app. He said that although the Bengaluru traffic police were helping the initiative, it needed more support from government agencies like the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to move forward.

Admitting that the KSPCB had not been able to do much in supporting the carpooling efforts by voluntary organisations, the board’s chairman Vaman Acharya said that the public was not mature enough to take forward the campaigns for a greener environment in Bengaluru. To make carpooling work, the government should make it mandatory that at least two people travel in a car and penalise those riding cars alone, he added.

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