Hyderabad: The concept of private car pooling has progressed, thanks to apps like Bla Bla Car and S Rides. Thumbing a lift is passé. Technological advances are now helping riders to co-join and head towards a common destination in somebody’s private car. This per se is not a new concept because carpools had begun this way. In an apartment complex, or amongst colleagues, pooling into one car was cost effective.
These apps connect strangers who share a ride at extremely affordable rates. This way they don’t even pay the premium amount charged by commercial car pool services. Applications like Bla Bla Car and S Rides enable commuters locate other people headed towards the same direction and let them travel at extremely cheap prices. “I have to travel 30 km daily from Gachibowli to Bowenpally and by pooling with someone who has to go the same route, I save about `500 daily”, says Ms Aishwarya Reddy who pools with another rider regularly.
These apps ensure that the commuters enrolled onto their service are thoroughly verified. “They ask for government ID proof and Facebook profile which is a sufficiently reliable and fool-proof,” said Mr Adishankar, a mobility safety expert who is enrolled with Bla Bla Cars. Other apps require people to register their work email ID.
Security becomes less of a concern when rides are regularly taken with the same carpoolers. “I have to travel 2 hours to work and it’s boring without company, so this is a good way to meet a commute partner. If you are traveling to work together regularly then it’s very convenient,” said Shiva Yalavarthy, who pools his car daily.
It’s for this very reason that experts are pushing for carpools across the city. “We have suggested to the transport commissioner to promote car pooling to ensure that there are fewer vehicles on the road,” said Mr Rajesh Naik, deputy director, sub-regional office, Petroleum Conservation Research Association. The apps also inform commuters of how much they saved by pooling their trips....