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Carpooling high during Delhi’s Jan odd-even rule as public transport bottlenecks

delhi pollution 2011

The Delhi Government has stated that it will impose the next phase of the odd-even formula for cars from 15-30 April 2016, after the state board exams are over. In a press conference, Arvind Kejriwal, CM of Delhi, said that those who did not use their personal cars preferred to carpool instead of using public transport, which led to Delhi Metro ridership increasing by 0.4% and bus ridership by 7%.

Delhi has around 30-40 lakh bikes; and around 15-20 lakh people will take to buses and the Metro, both of which do not have the capacity to handle those many people. Kejriwal added that unless public transport was fixed, this rule could not be imposed on bikes. The Government is considering if this odd-even rule can be applied for 15 days every month, but has not finalised on anything, and will wait for the second phase to get over before it passes any rules.

Through the odd-even rule, Delhi citizens will only have to put up with 6-7 days of discomfort in a month, and it would be great if they did this, Kejriwal added. Women will be exempt from this rule, like the last time. The government will employ 500 retired defence personnel as traffic enforcement inspectors since in the January trial, the regular work of SDMs was stopped. Out of the 500 defence personnel, 250 will be in enforcement team leadership.

The government will also increase the number of buses and make private contracts with bus providers to make the total number of available buses at 5,000. This will also include 300 school buses in their off-duty times.

What companies did during the first phase of the odd-even rule:

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– Ola offered multiple types of cars on its app for increased availability, and said that its Ola Share and carpool and shuttle options were seeing a high adoption rate. (It also launched ridesharing in December, while Uber launched private car risdesharing as did Meru Cabs.)

– Intra and inter city carpooling app Ibibo Ryde offered free pollution masks to riders in Delhi, and gave odd/even badges to people offering rides for increased visibility of the riders. It also set up a website to state the number of car rides taken and amount of CO2 saved.

– Messenger app Hike launched a feature called ‘Car Match’ that would let Hike users match, connect, chat and share rides with friends, acquaintances and others.

– AutonCab increased the number of autorickshaws it had in NCR.

– M-Taxi doubled its fleet and remained available for 2 additional hours in the day.

– Spinny, a platform for buying and selling used cars launched an odd-even filter on the site to let users find the vehicles with specific registration numbers. It said then that 10-15% of its queries were related to odd/even cars.

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– Self drive car company Zoomcar introduced Zoom Commute for weekday commute options and launched doorstep delivery of cars in Delhi.

– Bus aggregator Shuttl launched a website to provide answers to queries related to the scheme. At that time, Shuttl claimed to have over 60 routes in Delhi NCR.

– Personal assistant app Helpchat launched a new feature on its app which informed users of the air quality around them by assessing it.

Image Credit: Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier under CC BY SA 2.0

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