Car pool is cool, and it is good for the environment too.
Hyderabad: Car pool is cool, and it is good for the environment too. So say the two ride-sharing companies, Uber and Ola. According to Uber, 29 per cent of all their trips in Hyderabad have been on Uber Pool. In an emailed correspondence, an Uber spokesperson said, "Uber Pool has helped the city save 4.64 lakh litres of fuel, thereby curbing 1.09 lakh kg CO2 emissions in Hyderabad."
Ola claims to have cut down the use of 7 million litres of fuel and 12 million kg of carbon dioxide emissions in 26 cities. Mobility experts believe that any kind of pooling will help fix the traffic problem. "These services have become a premium mode of public transport with their A/C rides and point-to-point pickup and drop. They solve the last mile problem," said Mr S. Adishankar, secretary, Roadkraft, the NGO that works on road safety and reduction of death rates in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state.
Shuttle services like Commut are entering the market providing over 70 seats in one ride, thereby taking many cars off the roads. "The IT sector is downsising their pickup and drop facility. We fill a major gap of affordable and reliable transport," said Mr Charan Thota, co-founder of Commut. The city’s planning also has a role to play, say experts. Town planners have noted that the city’s traffic heads mostly west during the day, making congestion the biggest issue to deal with by road-users, mainly techies, using this stretch.
"The fact that lakhs of people are going in the same direction can be a huge planning tool by the shared mobility market", said Mr Adishankar. The carpooling segment in India works differently from other countries. Taxis are easily available for pooling service. But often, in their hunt for riders, taxis run empty. Here, premium taxis are mainly centred around busy areas at peak time. "We must take into account the routes and areas these pool services ply on. If they are mostly in areas with heavy traffic congestion, then they would be driving on first or second which again leads to high consumption of fuel. We have to always keep in mind that every litre of petrol we burn, will emit 2.5 kg of CO2", said Mr Rajesh Naik, deputy director, sub-regional office of the Petroleum Conservation Research Association. Uber Pool has noted that the route which most users of the share service use is Madhapur-Kondapur-Gachibowli-Panjagutta-Ameerpet.