Ola has introduced its CarPool feature for private cars, while Meru Cabs has launched its Ride-Share option in Delhi
A recent decision by the Delhi government on allowing only select cars on the road on specified days has transport providers and aggregators trying to cash in on the opportunity.
From January 1, those driving cars with license plates ending with an even number will only be allowed on the roads on even-numbered dates in Delhi. And those driving cars with license plates ending in an odd number will be allowed on the roads on the other days.
India’s largest transport aggregator, Ola, for instance, has launched its new ‘CarPool’ feature for private cars on its app in Delhi. This comes close on the heels of the launch of a carpooling feature for cabs on Ola Share.
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Passengers can use Ola’s route-matching algorithms to pool rides in their own car with fellow passengers looking to travel in the same route.
The CarPool feature will appear as a separate category on the Ola app in Delhi-NCR. First-time users can register by entering their vehicle details on the Ola app and make themselves available by clicking on ‘I am driving’ and entering their destination.
Meanwhile, users who want a ride can click on ‘I need a ride’ and mentioning their drop location. The Ola app will then match users from within a user’s Friend List or anyone travelling on the same route in real time, depending on the user’s choice.
Ola app also offers a Friend List feature that allows users to make a customised list by adding friends with their mobile phone numbers. Through the feature, Ola tries to showcase the security and privacy aspect of the service by enabling CarPool users to travel with their friends.
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“CarPool will bring economy, convenience and the comfort of travelling with friends even to those who drive their own vehicles. This has potential to unlock a massive idle transportation inventory in our cities,” Ishan Gupta, Category Head – Shared Mobility at Ola, said.
Online taxi service provider Meru Cabs is also trying to capture this market. After launching its Carpool service, where private car owners can offer a ride via Meru’s platform, it has launched its Ride-Share service that gives users a platform to book and share taxis when travelling in the same direction.
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Launched in Delhi, Meru offers its customers a fixed 30 per cent discount on the estimated trip fare for the customers who choose the ride-share option.
Customers will be charged a fixed fare, which will be communicated to them before booking. This fixed fare will be determined based on the actual fare estimate from the pickup location to the drop location and the ride-sharing discount of 30 per cent.
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