The travel solution app, RideAlly is the brainchild of Hariprakash Agarwal. In 2010 when it was first launched, it only had the option of carpooling. “It didn’t work out as there were less like-minded people,” says Hariprakash.
However, the software has now been upgraded and provides commuters the option of sharing a taxi. Users can create a closed group and add as many commuters as they want and design travel plans on a day-to-day basis.
“There are about 2,200 users at present and the taxi sharing option is more popular than carpooling,” he says. The app divides its users into three categories — those who need a ride, those who are offering a ride and those who want to share a taxi. The app has tied up with over ten cab providers. “The normal cab is not flexible in terms of picking up passengers from different pick-up points. But the RideAlly cabs promote this option,” he says. The commuters looking for a travel partner can feed in their travel plans and a request to fellow commuters will be sent with verified personal details.
He says, “The details are collected from one’s Facebook profile and also verified with the mobile network provider once they give their numbers.” The app ensures special safety of women commuters as he explains, “A woman passenger can choose to travel with another woman traveller. This will ensure privacy and safety.” However, share the taxi option is available for a minimum of five commuters. “The RideAlly taxis charge a price of Rs 6 per kilometre for each commuter, which helps reduce the transport expense and even the traffic,” he says. It also lets commuters travel for free as he explains, “The person who is offering a ride has the option of offering a free ride. The commuter travelling in this vehicle can travel for free safely.”
The app also avails long distance travel. Just like the app, the story of how he got the idea is also interesting. “I was in Delhi for a meeting. It was late in the night and I saw an autodriver offering a 20-km-long ride for Rs 30. Shocked, I approached him and he said, ‘My house is 20 km away and every night, I take as many passengers as possible this way and give them the option of paying a minimum amount. This is helpful to both the passengers and me.’ And that’s how RideAlly came into being,” he narrates. He then put his heart and soul into it for five years and received immense support from his wife Richa Agarwal too. He concludes saying, “The widespread success of the app is possible only when every commuter in the City starts using it.”