What will shape the future of transportation in urban cities? This is a question that has intrigued the minds of global leaders as cities keep on growing larger and larger. According to the World Urbanization Prospect survey, it’s projected that by 2050, Nairobi’s population will have grown to 14 million people, placing it at 29th among the top 101 most populated towns in the world. This would prove a tragedy to a city that is already struggling with overpopulation and heavy traffic congestion. Proposals that have so far been brought forward to ease movement within the city have suffered from either poor implementation or corruption within the corridors of the county government.
However, a private start-up called Lifta has come up with a carpooling initiative to ease traffic congestion within the city and offer a cheaper alternative for movement within the city. Carpooling, also known as ride-sharing, involves sharing car journeys such that more than one person can travel in one car. It is an initiative that has proven efficient in other countries like South Africa where apps like Locomute which launched in 2015 has seen massive approval and subscription from customers. This is because it is:
It is Cost Effective. Carpooling is really beneficial to car owners and employees who work around the same region. When they share rides then they get to park their cars at home and save on fuel costs, maintenance costs and parking expenses. This, in turn, reduces transport costs around the city which have often proven to be really high with the constant traffic congestions which increase fuel consumption.
Reduces Traffic Congestion. This is an effective approach when it comes to reducing the coming from work. Lifta seeks to encourage more workers to share rides to work and park their cars at home. This will reduce the morning prone traffic hours and hence improve reporting times at work. It will also reduce traffic within the city, a problem that the county government has been struggling with for decades now.
Environment friendly. Carpooling is environment-friendly since it reduces the number of cars on the road hence reducing air pollution from carbon emissions. With the current adoption of electric and hybrid cars, these levels can be reduced exponentially through carpooling.
Increases Road Safety. Carpooling to events and raving escapades in clubs and bars is really cost-effective and safe at the same time. As much as everyone wants to go to an event with his or her convertible or the new Benz they just bought, the chances of getting into an accident after the event are really high. The number of overnight accidents taking place after raves has been on the rise but with carpooling, this can be hugely reduced. Having a designated driver for a ride after a night out is much safer and cheaper. Carpooling seems like a complicated thing but when you start using it you will love it!
HOW CARPOOLING WORKS FOR DRIVERS
Driving somewhere and have extra seats? Post your ride! Enter details of your trip and set price per passenger. It takes 2 minutes and you can offer a one-off, return or recurring journey.
You set the rules. Carpooling needs to work for you. Set your preferences, for example, whether smoking, music, AC etc. are allowed in the car.
Respond to requests. You choose whether or not to accept requests. Respond as soon as possible and contact the passenger if you have any questions.
Chat. You can chat up with the passengers and agree on a convenient place to meet. Review and repeat Share your feedback with other members. You get to keep 100% of the funds collected from ride sharing.
Heading somewhere? Search if someone’s headed that way Book up to 3 seats for shared journeys – long distance or close by. Driver members are only sharing their costs so this keeps prices down for you.
More flexible than the bus or train. Choose based on price and reviews. The driver member will set out certain preferences on their profile but feel free to ask questions.
Request to join the ride. Request to carpool with a driver headed to the same direction Enjoy the ride agree a convenient time and place to meet.
Enjoy the ride. Agree a convenient time and place to meet. Enjoy the ride with the other riders and make Friends.
Review and Repeat. Share your feedback on the driver member and the ride, then search for your next carpooling adventure.
Carpooling Platforms in Kenya.
For more information On The Grind grab a copy of The Outsyder in The Nairobian every Friday.