Picture this. It’s 8.30 am. You’re rushing to work, but there isn’t a rickshaw or taxi that’s willing to take you to the station. And when you finally spot that lone rickshaw driving towards you, there are five others hailing it down. This is a daily ritual thousands of Mumbaiites are familiar with.
Rajan Gupte (45), a management consultant, said there is a rush for rickshaws during peak hours, but there are never enough. “We would end up fighting, as a result. That’s when groups of three started hailing a rickshaw together and sharing a ride,” said Gupte. “Some drivers, though, refuse if they think the three people are unrelated.”
Many put up with the problem because rickshaws are cheaper than driving to work in your own car. But what if you could drive to work without burning a hole in your pocket?
“A carpool lets you do just that,” said marketing professional Kapil Chavan (30), who commutes to Andheri from Kandivli in a colleague’s car. “You save fuel and there are fewer parking problems,” said Chavan.
Carpooling doesn’t just help those who commute long distances. People staying close to their offices often find it difficult to find a taxi or rickshaw. “My colleague lives on Andheri-Kurla Road, 3 km from our office. Rickshaws refuse the fare because it’s such a short distance. I usually drop him home,” said banker Dinesh Shankar (37).