Carpooling makes a ‘smart’ comeback in Kochi
The carpooling system, where users share a ride with anothercommuter on the same route, is slowly regaining popularity in cities.
KOCHI: The carpooling system, where users share a ride with another commuter on the same route, is slowly regaining popularity in cities. The number of people using carpooling has seen an upward trend over the past few months, thanks to rising fuel prices and lack of comfort in public transport.
According to many commuters, after the dip in Covid cases, the number of people offering and using carpooling has considerably increased. Mobile applications like Quick Ride and Blah Blah are at the forefront to facilitate carpooling in the state, says riders.
“Before the pandemic, several people were using carpooling. People even used to travel to rural areas using the system. It all changed during the past two years,” says Anwar, a Malappuram resident who prefers carpooling to reach Kochi where he’s working in a stockbroking firm.
“Now, the situation has changed. Many vehicle owners have started offering rides and it has many takers too. It is also an easy way for us to commute during weekends,” Anwar says. Jos T Erinjery, a Thrissur native, is another carpool user. He has completed nearly 10 rides over the past two weeks alone. “Most of the KSRTC buses heading towards Kochi are always jam-packed. Sometimes, it is difficult to catch a bus on weekends. That is why I started using the facility,” says Jos.
As per reports, Quick Ride app has over one lakh users in Kochi alone. The number of users in Thiruvananthapuram also crossed over 25,000. M G Rajamanickam, KSIDC MD, who initiated a project to promote carpooling during his tenure in Ernakulam, reckons the system would help reduce traffic congestion and pollution. “More vehicles means more traffic congestion,” he says. “The only options for reducing traffic congestion are carpooling and public transportation. Own vehicles should be used only when it is unavoidable.”
Prajeesh, an artist based in Kochi, says he has switched to carpooling due to rising fuel costs. “I used to spend nearly Rs 10,000 per month on weekend trips to Palakkad, my hometown. However, I only spent Rs 2,000 on inbound and outbound travel last month,” he says.