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Click to hitch a ride

Fed up of travelling the 20- km stretch alone every day between Chennai’s Purasa Walkam to his Thiruvanmiyur-based office, Senthil Kumar logged on to Route 11 the moment he read about it on his Facebook wall. Soon after he registered his route and his timings on the website, launched in January this year, he received a phone call to share the ride.

“It was a wonderful experience — getting to know someone I might never have otherwise,” recalls Kumar, who has shared a ride twice since he logged in.
Apart from assuring you company during your commute, Route 11, an initiative taken by the team at Zanec Software, is also intended to help you do your bit for the environment. “The idea is to reduce pollution levels as well as save money. It’s better to share the ride and cost, have good company, and help nature as well,” says Rijul Jain, technial head for the project.

“We’re only marketing the website (www.route11.in), which is still in its beta stages, through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Currently, the website has about 250 to 300 users from across Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai, who offer both motorbike and car rides. But we expect a bigger response from cities like Mumbai once the app version, which is to be accessible across platforms, is launched in a week or so,” says Jain.

Jain, moved to Chennai after he was hired for the project a year ago, from New Delhi. “Initially, I found it difficult to commute to my office, as it is about 16 kms away from where I live. I now share my ride with someone I found on Route 11,” reveals Jain.

A major hitch is that the website cannot ensure a commuter’s complete safety during the ride which involves strangers. While Jain admits that this is something the users will have to be careful about, he guarantees that their privacy is maintained at all times. “It is only once the user accepts the ride that the details are shared,” says Jain. “People can see a user’s ratings before choosing their ride. In case of a bad experience, the person is blacklisted,” he adds.
 

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