It was interesting to read in TOI about how carpooling is catching up in Mumbai. The news said that Mumbai traffic police department along with a carpooling site has tied up with a private insurance firm, multiplexes and restaurants so that carpool members will get a discount on a variety of allied services. For example, you can avail of a 50% discount on cinema tickets at PVR multiplex outlets and free Pepsi and pop corn during intervals besides a 20% discount on beverages and food at all Cafe Coffee Day outlets, plans are now afoot to provide a discount for the car insurance premium for carpoolers. Carpoolmumbai.com has got 1700 members and 560 groups who are using the site individually or as part of sharing group within a 70-80 km distance in the city and suburbs. 40% of the carpool users are working women who have a harrowing time traveling. But
We can see that a number of interesting factors have come together in the process:
- There is government (police department) and private firm partnership
- Mobile phones / sms are now ubiquitous and everybody is comfortable using SMS
- In a metro like Mumbai, it is common to have commuting distance of 20 to 30km.
- Best alternatives like train is painful during peak hours
- On the demographic side, there is sizable population of working women
Will it really catch on? I hope it does but you can’t be sure about it yet. It will take at least a couple of years before one can say for sure.Can this be replicated in a city like