Bengaluru: redBus, the world’s largest online bus ticketing platform, announces the launch of an advanced carpooling service on its platform, called rPool. Launched in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune, this new service allows office goers to avail and offer rides in their personal cars, while commuting between home and their workplace. rPool can be accessed directly from within the redBus mobile app.
rPool emerges from the need to develop sustainable solutions for the burgeoning traffic and congestion problems that most Indian cities, endure on an everyday basis. The spurt in ownership of private vehicles over the last decade, far outpaces the development of infrastructure needed to sustain them, resulting in severe cramming, impacting the quality of life, environment and the economy. According to multiple studies conducted, Indian cities are among the most congested in the world. In Bengaluru alone, the percentage additional time taken to travel during peak hours is at 162% compared to a 68% additional time taken in KL or 79% in Jakarta. Bengaluru’s vehicle population has grown the fastest in the country, with over 8 million vehicles on its roads, resulting in some obvious problems associated with the phenomenon, such as slow speed, long queues at traffic signals and high levels of pollution, among others.
redBus believes in the concept of ‘shared mobility’, as a sustainable option to tackling this situation, with carpooling being the best solution. According to a report on ‘Enabling Shared Mobility in India’ published by NITI Ayog, carpooling is a form of ride sharing in which trips are shared by travellers but with the exception that the drivers are not considered “for hire”, though they can receive some forms of compensation to recover their fuel cost.
Integrated into the redBus app, rPool is a sophisticated carpool solution for working professionals, enabling them to offer and avail rides, between their homes and offices. It uses advanced technology to connect ride givers and ride takers in the fastest and most convenient manner possible. The matching algorithm ensures that ride givers don’t have to deviate or take any detours from their daily work route and ride takers get to travel the maximum distance of their commute as a part of the shared ride.
Features of rPool:
- Verified Profiles via multiple checks: In order to build a trusted community of ride givers and ride takers, rPool is restricted to working professionals undertaking daily commute. Users are verified through their mobile number and their organization’s corporate email id.
- Safe, secure and, private: redBus has introduced phone number masking which enables users to connect with each other via the redBus app without revealing their phone numbers to each other thus ensuring privacy. Ride takers on rPool would be provided accident insurance free of cost for each ride.
- Attractive Incentives: Ride givers receive incentives in the form of reward points that can be redeemed at fuel stations and Amazon Pay. Ride takers pay much less than autos/cabs for the same distance.
- Inaugural Launch Offer: As an inaugural offer, for the first 500 ride givers in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and, Pune each, redBus would be charging zero commission for the first 5 years.
- User profiles and feedback mechanism: Creation of user profiles based on user reviews, allowing participants the option of choosing the people they wish to travel with, based on their ratings. The platform also offers women ride givers or takers to choose to travel with women alone, as an option.
Speaking on the occasion, Prakash Sangam, CEO – redBus said, “While governments and various other institutions are evaluating multiple options to tackle congestion in cities, as one of the largest facilitators of road travel in the country, redBus is poised to make a difference through advanced technology and professional expertise. rPool, our new carpooling service, is a systematic solution, not only to decongest roads, but also offer commuters, a viable option that helps them save fuel and time. With the right implementation and adoption at scale, carpooling can significantly reduce vehicular traffic during peak hours in urban cities.”
If 4 people share one car for 10km via the rPool platform, one can save around 4 to 5 litres of fuel thus reducing the CO2 emissions by 9 to 11kgs. With a large existing base of users across the country, redBus is poised to scale the rPool proposition at pace, positively impacting quality of life, environment, and the economy.
Chaitanya Kanuri, World Resources Institute India (WRI India), said, “Technology-enabled shared mobility solutions like carpooling platforms have the potential to improve the efficiency and sustainability of urban transportation in our cities. By allowing three-four trips to be fulfilled by a single vehicle, carpooling can contribute to reduced congestion as well as lower GHG emissions and air pollution- for which transportation is a major source. Care must be taken however, to ensure that ride-givers on carpooling platforms are only permitted to share costs of fuel and vehicle use with other co-passengers without imposing any additional charges; this is in line with carpooling regulations in other countries like the US and France. WRI India is working with shared mobility enterprises and with government agencies to promote innovative mobility solutions that are integrated with urban transport networks and have a positive impact on the city.”