carpooling (1)

Earlier this week, the Bangalore police started a new carpooling initiative to ease traffic congestion in the city and additional commissioner of traffic police MA Saleem said that it would lead to a reduction of around 50,000 vehicles on the Outer Ring Road, as indicated by this Times of India report.

The programme has been in the works for quite some time and Saleem had taken to Twitter to announce about the services.

The Bangalore traffic police had also partnered with ride sharing service Pool Circle to get private vehicles roads off the streets.

The online ride sharing business seems to be taking off in Bangalore and now seems more legitimate with the Bangalore police taking pro active steps. In September alone, three taxi services launched carpooling services in Bangalore making it almost a petri dish to see how the ecosystem could pan out in the rest of the country.

Uber announced that it will launch its car-pooling product UberPOOL in Bangalore in beta in the coming weeks. Following its rival’s announcement, Ola also said it is planning to launch its own ridesharing service, probably to be known as Ola Share.

Radio cab service provider Meru Cabs has already launched a carpool service in India, which is available in all of Meru’s 23 operational cities.

Other ridesharing apps

In April, Naspers-owned online travel company Ibibo Group launched a carpooling app called Ryde. Passengers need to fill in a few details like travel route and time among others and submit, following which a list of drivers offering rides for the selected route is provided to the passenger. They need to select a particular driver, select the preferred seat and make payment, after which they can chat with the driver to decide a pick-up location.

Also worth noting is the fact ridesharing app BlaBlaCar raised $200 million in a series D round of funding on September led by Insight Venture Partners, Lead Edge Capital and participation from Vostok New Ventures. The company said that it would use the investment to accelerate growth in Europe and focus on existing markets like India. In other parts of the country, Rocket Internet-backed Tripda primarily operates in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Delhi. However it’s worth noting that Tripda and BlaBlaCar only offer inter-city rides.

Image source: Flickr user Joel