The ‘Future of (shared) Travel’

From e-rickshaws to driverless cars, innovations in the field of automobiles are getting bigger and better with time. Vehicles are becoming solar-powered and some may run without fuel. It’s not hard to imagine that we may soon be traveling in a steel tube at speeds of almost 1,200 kmph. Such is the scope in the future of mobility.

On the contrary, the field of day-to-day travel is filled with innovations in the way we commute on a regular basis. If you’re living in a metro, you’ll probably relate best with the struggles of daily travel. While taxis and autos have been robbing us from ages with their sky-rocketing fares, the cheaper options are way too uncomfortable to even consider. Practically speaking, from a long time, there has not been even a single viable mode of transport, which is both cheap and comfortable. The road is not smooth (literally), even for those who own a car. The traffic jams are always there to give just the perfect start and end to your day. Travel hassle can really take a toll on your mind and body, and trust me, it’s frustrating. And then came, ride-sharing.

In these trying times for daily commuters, ride-sharing is no less than a ray of hope. The idea of ride-sharing is quite smart and simple. Four people travel the same way to work every day. One of them owns a car and drives alone and the other three take different modes of transport such as bus, auto, metro etc. Why should they not travel in the same car instead? The car owner can charge a nominal amount and the rest can enjoy a comfortable ride and generally feel happier in life. And when four individual car owners share a ride instead of driving solo, they do their bit for environment by saving on fuel emissions.

Many young companies think it’s a problem waiting for a solution and are coming up with cool apps and services which address the issue in different ways. I recently interned in one such company, Ryde, a ride-sharing app by Ibibo Group. The experience was great and learnings were many. Though it’s not an easy business model to crack, the challenges involved seem quite rewarding. While many may still argue, that this concept is not for India, I’ve seen many people eager to explore the option for the simple reason that it makes their life easier. I have started using it myself. It’s a simple app where you just need to create or find a ride, list your preferred route and price & get connected with people who are interested in sharing a ride a with you.

Working on the project got me interested in knowing about other similar services and their respective popularity. The more I deep dived into it, the more I realized that sharing a vehicle is no longer such a taboo as it is projected to be. And as far as my own experience goes, it’s the most viable option that one can explore and trust. The best thing about this concept is the number of people you interact with, on your way. My own friend circle has considerably increased since I started using the option, and that is when I consider myself to be an introvert of the highest order. Unlike popular belief, people are usually helping and kind, they would help you with your daily problems, professional queries, personal life and much more. With a clean intent, they won’t even hesitate in offering you an emotional or financial support. I’ve seen all this happening in my own ride-sharing experiences.

The crux of the story is that if you’re frustrated with your current travel options and are looking for an alternate, ride-sharing is definitely something you should go for. It will make you more compassionate, helpful and a much sober human-being.