Carpooling comes to the fore again

Hyderabad: With various office clusters reopening after about 45 days closure due to lockdown, carpool is back in the vogue. However, this time the cost per kilometre, which is shared by those pooling the car, is likely to go up as fewer people are allowed in the car.

According to KNM Rao, founder and chief executive officer of Quick Ride, one of the enabler of carpooling with a technology platform, people will look to use a private vehicle to public transport for office commute. This is mainly due to the heightened fear after coronavirus jolt.

“Carpooling is an efficient way to reduce the number of cars on the road and also to reduce the use of fuels. Now, people will use a carpool service more to cut down exposure to strangers due to the fear of contracting coronavirus. Since personal cars are used for carpooling, mostly from known people and to known destinations, the risk is lowered. The same cannot be said about public vehicles,” he said adding that the cars used for pooling make fewer trips compared to cabs and taxis.

Quick Ride users have to transact in carpool points that they buy from the company. People using the pool service earlier used to pay up to Rs 3.5 per kilometre per person. These points would be transferred to car owner, who can redeem it at fuel stations. “We are now allowing the car owners to collect up to Rs 5 per person per kilometre. They are now allowed to take in only two co-travellers instead of the four earlier,” Rao explained.

Quick Ride gets about 20 per cent of its total customers from Hyderabad. “We have just begun operations after the lockdown has been relaxed. But it will take some time for the operations to be normal as most IT professionals are still working from home,” Rao said.

Mask is mandatory for all those pooling the cars. Also, they have to answer a questionnaire which seeks health details and travel history before being allowed to pool, Rao said.

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