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People opt for pooling as traffic gets tough

People opt for pooling as traffic gets tough
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Recently on the occasion of the World Environment Day, cab aggregators like Ola and Uber were very quick to thank their customers for using their ‘Share’ and ‘Pool’ rides which helped them save precious fossil fuel. 

Hyderabad: Recently on the occasion of the World Environment Day, cab aggregators like Ola and Uber were very quick to thank their customers for using their ‘Share’ and ‘Pool’ rides which helped them save precious fossil fuel.

Uber which launched its cab sharing services in Hyderabad in June 2016 completed over 97 million trips in the city thus far, saving 1,364 kilo litres of fuel and in the process curbing 3.2 million kg of CO2 emissions. Its arch rival Ola also claimed that its share rides went up by a whopping 70 per cent in the country’s top 10 cities including Hyderabad.

Carpooling and share cab rides obviously help reduce vehicular population as well as pollution, but Hyderabadis cite several other reasons for taking to ride-sharing- the foremost ones being traffic congestion and parking woes. Furthermore, share cabs are cheaper alternatives as fares are a fraction of what people pay for regular cabs.

Says Aparajitha from British Deputy High Commission: “With vehicular traffic growing by leaps and bounds, congestions have become order of the day in the city. Driving own car has become extremely tiresome and the time taken for the same journey is increasing day by day. As result, cabs are now the best option, more so the ride-sharing alternatives”.

She feels that ride sharing apps has saved her the trouble of searching for transport and negotiating with them. Moreover, for end-to-end connectivity, dependency on own vehicles has reduced. “However, during times of rain, peak hours or weekends cab operators increase fares manifold and the availability of cabs also reduce to an extent,” she laments.

Thanks to patronage from people like her, popularity of share cabs has gone up in the city. “I get bookings for Uber Go from 6 am to 8 am as outstation passengers come into the city by bus or train. Thereafter, bookings are mostly related to Uber Pool though there will be slight lull in demand post noon,” says Syed Zahed, an Uber driver for the past three years.

According to him, there has been spurt in demand for Uber Pool services in the past one year. IT professionals and employees from call centres are depending on these services for their commute. So are also people working in other sectors.

Time, convenience and price are three important factors that people weigh on before booking a cab. Rajeshwari, an employee at Banjara Hills, compares prices between Uber Pool and Uber Go before booking. “If I am short of time then I prefer ‘Go’, if not its ‘Pool’.

She however stopped using Ola Share as she was forced to spend a lot of time on road owing to Ola’s haphazard way of connecting co-passengers. “Initially, Uber too did the same, but it has streamlined its services now,” she says.

Not only Uber and Ola, several local operators are also offering sharing rides these days, making commuting a pleasant task for people. Commute, a city-based startup, launched minibus shuttle service for the benefit of IT professionals who are looking for hassle-free journey to their offices.“We launched our services in Hyderabad much before Ola and Uber brought their ride-sharing services here. We have seen a steady growth in the past two and half years,” says Anusha Kovvuri, VP-Marketing, Commute.

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