KOCHI: Fed up with daily traffic congestion in the city, more commuters, especially office-goers, are embracing carpooling, the mode of travel wherein a group of people going to the same destination or route do so in a single vehicle.
According to officials of Quick Ride, a popular car and bike-pooling mobile application, an average 7,000 people use the app to reach office and return home in the city every day. Using the app, a car or bike rider can pool the vehicle to accommodate other travellers going to the same or nearby destinations. The number of Quick Ride app users recently crossed one lakh in Kochi. In Thiruvananthapuram, the app has 25,000 users.
“For us, Kochi is one of the fastest-growing markets in the country. Started in October 2017, we now have over one lakh app users in Kochi. Carpooling is mostly being used for reaching office and for travelling to home towns during weekends. People are gaining confidence in travelling via carpooling now,” said R B S Mony, Kerala head of Quick Ride. He said more than 2,500 car and bike owners are pooling their vehicles daily to accommodate other office-goers travelling to the same destinations in Kochi. “Carpooling is mostly popular among employees of Infopark and Cochin Special Economic Zone. Very few bike riders pool their vehicles even though we provide the facility in the city,” said Mony.
People travelling to their hometowns on weekends and holidays also use the app, he said. “The number of riders has increased from an average 7,000 to 9,000 on weekends. Several techies travelling to Wayanad, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram prefer to pool their cars to accommodate other travellers,” said Mony.
Money saver, green
Carpooling helps vehicle-owners to reduce fuel expenses for weekend journeys and is also cheaper for travellers who only have to pay on a par with the bus fare on long journeys, said R B S Mony.
Quick Ride also claimed that carpooling helped prevent 5,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in Kochi since 2017. Though the per-km fare is fixed by the car owner, it is negotiable. The users can recharge their app wallet using banking apps or debit cards.
Interestingly, 35 per cent of carpool riders in the city are women employees of Infopark. The app has security features dedicated to ensure a safe journey for woman travellers.
In a testimonial on Quick Ride, Cognizant Kochi employee Jijo George said he had been using the carpooling app for past two years.
“It has helped me connect with other daily commuters and plan my daily commute. I have managed to make many friends. I am happy we were able to reduce traffic congestion and pollution by sharing my vehicle. It is a reliable transportation option for Kochi,” he said.
More than 2,500 car and bike owners are pooling their vehicles daily to accommodate other office-goers travelling to the same destinations in KochiThe number of Quick Ride app users recently crossed one lakh in Kochi. In Thiruvananthapuram, the app has 25,000 users.