With the ‘Car Free Thursdays’ initiative by the Telangana government in association with Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA) getting off to a successful start in the city’s IT corridor, denizens are seeking alternative solutions to carpool to work and ease traffic congestion in the city.
While popular carpooling apps like RideIT and Zify have found takers among IT employees, many are now using mediums like Facebook and WhatsApp for carpooling purposes, in the form of Act Carpool, which are groups in the social networking platforms. Commuters feel that this is more flexible with respect to timings, as opposed to scheduled timings given in the apps.
“ In our field, our timings are not fixed and while we know when we go to office, when we return varies from day to day. Whenever I want to leave, I post a message offering or asking for a ride and immediately get a response,” shares Ganga Kiran, a software engineer who travels from Kukatpally to Hitech City.
Echoing similar views, Kalyan Chakravarthy, Project Manager at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) credits
‘Car Free Thursdays’ initiative for the conception of more creative carpooling ideas as well as awareness about the services.
“I did not know about Act Carpool before ‘Car Free Thursdays’ started and would find it difficult to get people to share a ride with me in scheduled apps like Zify, owing to my work timings. This system had solved my problem and within a month, I gave 40 rides and have collected 1200 points. Now, instead of doing carpooling for one day of the week, I do it everyday,” he said.
‘Act Carpool’ works in two ways. Either a person can contact others through Facebook or can be part of a WhatsApp group in his community. As of now, it has more than three hundred users in Facebook and has various groups in WhatsApp.
“We want to encourage community based car pooling so that our ‘green warriors’ can also make friends in their own community. Whenever we get a request, we add that person to a particular group based on his location.
Say if a person lives in Nizampet, he will be added to Nizampet Act Carpool group, so that he won’t get any unwanted messages. Also, it will help him get acquainted with people in his locality and will improve his social life,” Viswam Vemula, admin of one of the Act carpool WhatsApp group said.