Future of carpooling/ ride sharing in India
There is a limitation of how many new flyover, metro, underpasses, bridges can be created as it is both time consuming as well as cost intensive. Carpooling is the only solution that does not require any new infrastructure but still can cater to a large commuting population by higher utilization of existing infrastructure at zero additional cost.
Carpooling is based on cost sharing to ensure that both car owners and ride takers can benefit and the cost of commute lowers while also reducing number of vehicles on the road. A car owner and a rider going in the same direction will be matched instantly on the app and can connect with each other over the app. The cost sharing is also done online in order to reduce any hassle of cash transaction.
Nitin Chadha, Co-founder & COO, sRide, says, “Carpooling is still in very early days in India. Considering there are 300 million daily commuters in India, the number of people who are sharing today are not even 1%. Awareness about benefits of carpooling to both government and individual in terms of not only reduced cost but also reduced pollution congestion, fuel burn etc will really help higher adoption of carpooling.”
The future of mobility in India is a constantly evolving model. Some of the major focus areas include sustainability or more efficient use, or reduction in fossil fuel consumption, challenges with infrastructure and the ever evolving and dynamic needs of the consumer both urban and rural.
“While we are already seeing some of these challenges being addressed through the proliferation and promotion of electric vehicles and their supporting infrastructure, there continue to be the need for more extensive and accessible public transport, that also factors in critical gaps like last mile connectivity, affordability, and capacity, considering our densely populated city centers” said, Chadha.
India-specific solutions like bike-taxis are already solving for accessibility across urban, semi-urban and eventually even rural areas, especially when it comes to last mile connectivity. However, the need of the hour is more technologically advanced mass transport systems, that will significantly help reduce private transport and unclog city traffic and flailing infrastructure. However, publicprivate partnerships will be critical to the future of mobility and technology will be a key enabler in ensuring their successful implementation.
India as a country has very varied mobility needs, and companies like Ola are using technology to cater to and fulfill these needs of customers. Whether it’s a ride-hailing service for the metros, smaller cities and towns, or Ola Auto, Ola Share and Ola Bike for an economical option, to Ola Rentals for multi-stop intra-city travel or Ola Outstation and Ola Drive for long weekends or just a convenient and hassle-free travel.
The government has and continues to play a constructive and regulatory role when it comes to aggregators of mobility services. From bringing in policy to regulate the sector, to supporting the promotion and penetration of environment-friendly EV policies, the government continues to work alongside industry to solve mobility challenges that are unique to India. In the short term, Ola Electric wants to roll out 10,000 electric three-wheeled rickshaws within a year and a million battery-powered vehicles by 2021.
According to Aishwarya Raman, Head of Research and Associate Director, Ola Mobility, shared mobility through public transit and intermediate public transport is gaining momentum across cities. Almost 30% car owners are willing to put up their own car for hire. An additional 50% car owners expressed willingness to explore this option, were there a policy on usage of cars for sharing purposes. Such a policy can boost the first- and last-mile connectivity for urban public transport services, thereby also making it affordable in addition to reducing stress on the existing road infrastructure.
Shared mobility is a panacea that provides users with flexibility and doorto- door connectivity, without adding extra vehicles on the road. Shared vehicles, thereby, make possible sharing – and not owning an asset – to achieve mobility.