Why car pooling isn’t so great for metro cities & possible solution

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Lets face it, we are too much emotional and concerned about traffic that we get carried about any #achedin kind of news or information that knock our doors. Let us also face it that we have been too much emotional and concerned about our career/life/business that we forgot how pathetic our life has become.

We allowed municipalities to have potholes every few meters as we checked our paychecks to grow. We allowed our cities to get dirtier and polluted each passing day as our CVs have became more professional. We ensured that all that salary hike we get goes into the hands of real estate mafia as rent or purchase price. We never bothered to pay for taxes though our roads, infrastructure and eventually life became pathetic.

And now when the situation has became a hard nut to crack we are cheering up with much hyped hope given to us in the form of car pooling. As big businesses as well as startups have joined the party of car pooling, there is obviously a buzz on the subject.

But having a closer look, it seems that the car pooling will have a little impact on the traffic situation. Just ask yourself if you would like to be a part of car pooling.  If you own a car, it is more likely (or almost certain) that you would like to offer ride sharing for others and not the other way round. If you do not own a car, you are already going to office via a public transport (mainly bus) and hence the number of vehicle used before and after remains the same – a bus and a car. Off course, if someone commutes via auto/cab, he/she can contribute in reduction of vehicles.

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Moreover people are used to go to a departmental store/shop/restaurant 1-2 times a week while returning from office to buy food/groceries. With pooling, this “freedom” would be at stake! In addition, being punctual for all every day is almost impossible. Add to that there is a risk of clubbing with annoying or irritating co-travelers can add to reluctance for many.

Probably a car owner would not like to share a ride for many advantages of travelling alone or with spouse. Many commuters have flexible timings in office and many of us have to work more as well. It will be a really difficult task to find that ideal match to share a ride with.

But ride share would seem to be a better option. If few people commute to and from office at the same time from same place, they can hire a cab and travel. Again, if these 4 people who are ride sharing now were using bus to travel earlier, then, actually a vehicle (cab) is increased on road!

One of the solutions would be that companies have mini bus/traveller cabs and charge low/less to employees. The advantage of this would not just be cost advantage for employees but they will have an official log out time. (I am sure many will love this! :P). In addition, one traveller cab can help 12-20 employees share the ride.

Yet another solution can be done from the Government (though I hope they wont do it). Rather than investing billions of rupees to make a mere flyover, why don’t Government procure few hundred buses in the city and have tickets at subsidized rates? This will be a real game changer.

In Singapore, to tackle traffic issue, the government has made it too costly to buy a car. They have implemented schemes like Certificate of Entitlement (COE), which means anyone wishing to buy a vehicle has to bid for a COE. Only a limited number of COEs are released in a year and bidding makes them costly. Additional Registration Fee (ARF) of 150 per cent of the car’s Open Market Value is payable by every car owner.

Although we cannot have such rules in India, but why don’t we make public transport in buses so nice and economical that car driving seem to be a luxury affair? It can be tried in few or at least one city for a start.

 

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