Metrolife: Carpooling not so rare anymore

Zaheer Adhoni (right) with his carpooling group.

As the city’s roads groan under the ever-increasing barrage of vehicles, more and more Bengalureans are warming up to the idea of carpooling. With tech parks and multi-national corporations joining hands with car-sharing apps, there has been a definite surge in the number of people who don’t want to contribute to the city’s traffic. 

Says Bhavya Reddy, “ I have to commute from Yeshwanthpur to Embassy Manyata Business park every day. It was too expensive to take a private cab on a daily basis and I would usually end up exhausting myself by taking three buses to reach my office. For the past seven months, I have been carpooling along with office mates. This has helped me save time and money. Travelling with co-workers also brings a strong sense of safety.”

 Bhavya is a user of ‘sRide’, one among the three carpooling/ride-sharing apps that have tied up with Embassy Manyata Business Park for a year-long initiative to educate techies on the benefits of ride-sharing and carpooling. The other two apps are ‘Quick Ride’ and ‘W’heal our World’. 

Commenting on the initiative, Pradeep Lala, CEO, Embassy Services, said, “We are actively promoting carpooling to ease the traffic congestion in and around Bengaluru. The ‘Green Rider’ initiative by Embassy Group has a two-fold aim;  to manage vehicular traffic in and around the tech park and reduce carbon footprint to create a sustainable environment for the park. So far the initiative has achieved over 64,000 carpool rides.”

 “Despite having a car, I used to ride to work from Ramamurthy Nagar. I don’t think it is right to use a car if you are the only passenger, which is why I would use the bike. I started using my car again when I tried out the carpooling app ‘Quick Ride’. Commuting is a much more pleasant experience now since I ride with friends,” says Abhiram Gurijala.

“Carpooling is quite safe as most of the riders will be working in the same office or building. The users are verified in that way. Also, there are no peak time charges and the option is available all the time, unlike what happens with cab-sharing,” says Neha Garg, an MNC employee.

“I travel from Jeevan Bheema Nagar to Embassy Manyata Business Park five days a week. By carpooling, I save money and also feel good that I am making a personal contribution towards India’s emission reduction goal,” says Rajesh Subramanya.

While everyone agrees on the many benefits of carpooling, MNC professional Damodar Varma points out the probable downsides. “It is definitely a good option but the initial few days might be a bit uncomfortable for a newbie, especially if you are someone who likes your privacy. Many techies head out of the town during weekends so if you are carrying your luggage to office, you will end up inconveniencing other riders in a carpool. Also, there will be a waiting time for every rider so make sure you have enough time to spare before you opt for this,” he says.

To address this issue, Zaheer Adhoni puts out a broadcast message to his carpool group ten minutes before he starts. “This way, I ensure that everyone is there at the pickup point on time. A 5-10 minute delay is understandable though. Sometimes people back out after saying they will be joining but it is okay; we are not here to make money,” he shrugs.Zaheer has a 15-km commute on a daily basis and has now found a regular bunch of people to travel with. “We reduce four cars on the road and it is a much more comfortable journey now.”

Benefits of carpooling

  • Reduction in carbon footprint
  • Users live or work in same building or area. Not much of a detour needed. 
  • Mostly used for office trips so person driving is sure to be on time, unlike cabs
  • No peak charge
  • Safety is ensured since many carpooling apps ask for verified ID proof
  • Cheaper option, both for ride-giver and user 

 

Apps for carpooling

  • Hoho Ride
  • Quick Ride
  • Ridenet
  • Wunder Carpool
  • PoolCircle
  • BlaBlaCar
  • AYA Carpooling
  • by2rides
  • ZipGo
  • Orahi
  • RideAlly
  • HopinGo

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Metrolife: Carpooling not so rare anymore

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