Host Rider of Hyderabad
By Suhas Yellapantula | Published: 08th August 2015 10:00 PM |
Everybody who commutes to work in the IT hub of Hyderabad encounters congested traffic, blaring horns and thick layers of smoke from vehicles. With the Hyderabad Metro Rail yet to be launched, people have no choice but to commute by road and are often stuck for hours in traffic. RideIT, a Hyderabad based start-up aims to provide a solution by offering a carpool service.
Started by Rahul M Jacob, RideIT brings commuters travelling on the same route together through its website rideit.in. “I used to work in Infosys earlier and I noticed that despite having multi-level parking, we could never find space to park our vehicles. Most of the cars had just one person in them, and on the other hand, there were autos and buses crammed with people. That’s when I decided to come up with a ride-matching platform along with my colleague Genoveva Galarza, who was visiting us from Spain,” says the 27-year-old.
Though RideIT was launched in 2013, there were some technical snags on the website, and it was relaunched in February 2015. RideIT has collaborated with 68 corporate companies, has 7,600 users and is limited to corporate employees only.
“Security is a major factor, which is why we decided to limit the service to corporate companies. It is an inter-company platform. Once an individual registers on the website, they are asked to provide their corporate email ID. The domains of companies are registered with us, so there is no place for fake IDs,” explains Jacob. They charge companies on a yearly basis.
The service is available for cars, motorcycles and cabs. “When a user logs on to the website, it shows people who are offering a ride on a particular route. People who want to offer or seek a ride can contact each other on the platform. Before taking the ride, you are well aware of all the details, including route, price, etc,” says Jacob.
Unlike the traditional cab fare, the prices are fairly nominal and some people even provide free rides. “When people are giving rides on a long-term basis, they charge `3.50 per kilometre. Rides on a one-time basis are free. When it comes to cabs, two people travelling on the same route can contact each other and share the cab and the fare,” explains Jacob.
The carpooling service is also women-friendly. “Women have the option of taking a women only ride. There is also a rating system, where people can rate persons that they are carpooling with. If someone reports a problem with a particular user, they will be banned,” he says.
RideIT has won the award for the best start-up by the Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA) this month. It has also been named the best in the green business category by the Ohio State University and has received the World Summit Youth Award in the same category this year.
RideIT is partnering with the Telangana government’s initiative of Car Free Thursdays, where people are encouraged to walk, cycle or carpool to work. The aim of the initiative is take cars off the road, reduce pollution and decongest traffic. “Since RideIt started, we have been successful in getting 240 cars off the roads. Hopefully, more will follow suit,” says Jacob.
RideIt will also be launching their Android app next week. “We would first like to establish ourselves in Hyderabad. We have barely scratched the surface and there are plenty of companies who have not heard about us. Once we cover Hyderabad, we will look at expanding to other cities, starting with Bengaluru,” says Jacob.