Ahead of odd-even phase 2, car-pooling is catching on in Delhi

  • Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 14, 2016 13:29 IST
According to cab aggregator services, the trend to pool or share cabs is catching on ahead of the second phase of odd-even restriction in Delhi. (Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

Abhishek Pandey, 28, has found the perfect way to travel from home to office.

Though the advertising professional calls a cab using one of his many mobile applications, he pays much less than others. “I opt to pool or share a cab. Most of the time, I am the only one who is in the cab because the mobile app has not been able to find anyone nearby. I end up paying much less and get to office in time and comfort,” says Pandey.

These options may come in handy for men ahead of the second phase of odd-even restriction, wherein chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has asked them to share cars to pick children up from school. According to cab aggregator services, the trend to pool or share cabs is catching on.

“The response to Ola’s shared mobility solutions (Ola Share, Ola Shuttle) has been overwhelming. Even after the conclusion of the first odd-even trial, an increasing number of office goers continue to prefer shared mobility solutions during peak hours from 9am to 12pm and 4pm to 8pm. There is high demand for cabs near shopping malls,” said a statement issued by cab aggregator,Ola.

But not always are these services shared. Many end up being the only one on the cab despite opting to share it. So there are people, who exploit this loophole.

“I always book a shared cab and the aggregator can’t find others willing to share it near me. Essentially, I have a whole cab to myself for a lesser amount. This also works if I am travelling with a companion. If I book a separate cab, I pay close to Rs 300 to get to office. If I opt for a pooling option I pay around Rs 200. I cancel my ride if another person, who I don’t know, gets matched with me,” said Lakshya Dogra, a software engineer, who works in Noida.

Cab sharing features such as Ola Sharing and uberPool give you the option of reserving two seats at a time.

Aggregators also work with bog forms to offer pooling services for employees of that organisation.

According to Uber, the match rate has seen an upward trend. Match rate means the number of people getting booked on to the same cab keeping in mind the area, proximity and time.

“On any given day, many Uber trips have a “lookalike” trip--a trip that starts near, ends near, and is occurring around the same time as another trip. Most of these trips transport 1-2 people, leaving 2-3 empty seats. With uberPOOL we can match those lookalike trips together. Since the launch of Uber’s carpooling initiative (in December 2015), we have seen a steady rise in the number of people opting to share cars. Our match rates between passengers who are requesting a ride while going in the same direction at the same time has crossed the 50% mark in such a short period of time,” said Uber spokesperson, Ruchica Tomar.

Neither Ola nor Uber disclosed the number of shared trips completed each week.

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