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Travel buddies with benefits

An initiative that urges working professionals to join a carpool at economic rates, and pays those using their cars, is gaining steam across the city.

delhi Updated: Sep 12, 2013 02:09 IST
Chetna Dua

Tired of being caught in traffic snarls everyday as you drive to office? A group of city folks have started an online group to help travellers hitch a ride together by connecting the passengers and drivers travelling on the same route.

“Gurgaon has a huge workforce, but almost non-existent public transport. Most people are left with no choice but to drive for their work,” says Sameer Khanna, 33, who left his corporate job to start FolksVagn, an online group dedicated to reducing traffic and pollution by connecting people travelling on the same route. The group operates in Delhi, Noida and Faridabad too.

Khanna was joined in his endeavour by Swati Sinha, who is passionate about creating a clean environment for her daughter to grow up in, and Promila Dhar, who feels that India should reduce the amount of fuel import. “Most people hesitate to exchange small amounts of money for a ride, hence we’ve made all the transactions online,” says Khanna.

Passengers can register for free on their website to travel at `3.50 per kilometre while the driver is paid `3/per km per passenger, creating a win-win situation for both.No wonder the idea is spreading like wild fire with close to 100 registrations per day. “We have one car that my husband drives to office, so I used to spend close to `300 per day, travelling to and fro my office in Udyog Vihar from DLF V, and then there’s haggling with autowallas. But now I reach office in the comfort of an air conditioned car for just `30,” says Barkha Nangia.

The initiative also helps people make friends. “The frustration of traffic seems more tolerable and you end making a few friends,” says Alok Tripathi, who has been going on shared drives from Sector 56 to Cybercity for the last 6 months.

The group has also taken precautions for security with separate groups for women travellers.