While commuting to work only seems to get harder by the day, with the growing traffic menace in the city, three IT professionals may have just the solution – community-based carpooling.
Joyride: Carpooling will not only help users to save time and fuel costs, it may be the answer to the traffic congestion that all metro cities face.
Rajkumar Mundel, Praveen Mane and Averi Pal Choudhuri had to travel for hours in the office cab to get to their workplace in the city’s burgeoning IT sector. Tired of spending two hours in the cab each way, every day, the trio set up an online social platform, Let’s Ride, to connect people who want to travel to the same destination. While there are other carpooling services in the city, such as Mebuddie and CarpoolAdda, Let’s Ride, which kicked off in September last year, is a free-of-cost service.
Building a community
Users can log in either as car or bike owners wishing to share the ride and fuel costs with other people, or as a passenger looking for a vehicle owner. 40 per cent of those registered on the site are vehicle owners, while the rest are passengers looking for a ride. As co-founder Mundel points out, though, the trio’s biggest concern was how they could help the users of the portal trust each other. “The sole reason behind making this a social portal was to give people a chance to first look into a fellow rider’s profile, get to know about the person, check his ride-sharing network and then go ahead and take a ride,” he said. Users can also use the service’s Verification module, which allows them to meet fellow users and then decide whether they are comfortable with them, he adds.
The traffic police department has responded positively to the initiative, and sees it as the answer to the city’s congested traffic. Vishwas Pandhare, deputy commissioner of police (traffic) said, “It’s nice to see that people are actually coming forward and taking steps to resolve the increasing traffic. This will help to reduce the number of vehicles from the roads. People will have to change their mindset and understand that carpooling is the solution for traffic menace in the city.”
Left to right) Averi Pal Choudhuri, Rajkumar Mundel and Praveen Mane, founders of ‘Let’s Ride’, will soon launch a mobile app for their service. FILE PICS.
But, ride-sharing is not just a way to beat traffic woes or to save on fuel costs, says co-founder Choudhuri. “The users don’t just save money, but contribute by saving fuel energy, reducing carbon footprint and thereby making this city greener.”
‘Let’s Ride’ is a growing community with over 500 carpoolers now using the network – a majority of them are IT employees, who, like the founders, got tired of wasting hours in commuting. However, the founders are aiming to reach at least 5,000 users from each locality, so that everyone finds a match. The trio is already taking leaps ahead, with a mobile app coming soon. “In many metropolitan areas, doubling ride-sharing would eliminate the most serious traffic congestion. We want to solve the traffic woes by connecting driver to the rider. The idea is to get both these parties onto the social platform and entice them enough to post updates about their rides, every time they embark on the ride,” added Choudhuri.
How to share rides
1. Sign up on www.letsride.in
2. Fill in your daily commute details. For example, search ‘Aundh to Hinjewadi’ to get matches of people travelling on the same route.
3. You can pick from any of the matches and “Follow” the person.
4. Send a private message with more details and share a ride.
I have found a ride-sharing friend from my workplace through Let’s Ride, and it is a very convenient way to travel to work. Besides, it saves my time and effort too.
IT professional and vehicle owner
I was able to find two decent people from my area to share rides with. It also helped me curtail my fuel expenses.