Odd-even back: Sharing cabs to hiring buses, how Delhi plans to travel

The second phase of the odd-even car rationing scheme begins on Friday and people across the city are chalking out plans to travel to office, drop their children to school and go out without violating the rule.

Under the odd-even scheme, cars with registration numbers ending in odd digits will be allowed on odd dates and those ending in even digits will ply on even dates between April 15 and 30, except on Sundays.

Delhiites are looking at cabs, autos, bikes and neighbours to make sure they are where they are supposed to be on time without flouting any rules.

Cab sharing

Cab aggregators Uber and Ola are betting big on ride-share. Both cab companies had offered cab sharing in December before the first phase of odd-even and have witnessed a good growth in the segment. People continued to use cab-sharing even after the restriction was lifted.

By the end of the year, car-pooling is expected to be 25-30% of all taxi rides in the country, and the odd-even ban, experts said, will play a huge role in the adoption of shared-rides.

“About 20% of cab users have used shared-rides in NCR. It worked both in terms of convenience and pricing,” said Aloke Bajpai, founder and CEO of Ixixgo, which aggregates inventory from Ola, Uber and local cab owners.

Apart from Ola and Uber, services such as Orahi, 360Ride (where women are paired with women for safety) and Blablacar are betting on the odd-even ban.

Tanvir Khan (37) of Okhla, had registered with the Poochh-O app during the first odd-even restriction.

“I am registered with the app but did not get any calls from fellow commuters then. Now, suddenly a lot of people want to share a ride with me,” Khan said.

Autos and bikes

It is not only cabs and cars that people are open to sharing. Joining the bandwagon, auto-rickshaw and bike sharing apps are also coming up.

Auto and two-wheeler sharing service iUNIR is expected to soft-launch on Thursday. Apart from the mobile application, the service can also be availed through social networking websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Users will be allowed to choose their fellow passengers.

Jugnoo, the auto rickshaw aggregating app which has more than 5,000 autos in NCR is also launching a pilot project to start shared auto rides to compete with cab sharing.

Office goers

In the first phase of the restriction, a group of government employees in Dwarka hired a mini-bus to ferry them to and from work. The group later decided to continue the service even after the restriction was over.

Firms such as Maruti, DLF Limited, Convergys and Hero in Gurgaon, which have hundreds of employees travelling from different parts of Delhi-NCR, are helping employees create a data base and connect people living in the same area. They have continued with policies adopted in the first phase. Maruti has also allowed flexible work hours for its employees.

Hospitals are still using shifts to encourage employees to carpool.

Medanta’s intranet hosts software that uses location of the employee’s homes and car numbers to match people up for carpooling during the odd-even fortnight.

Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals has taken a similar initiative.

Resident Welfare Associations

Transport minister Gopal Rai asked all SDMs to get in touch with Resident Welfare Associations so that there can be mobilization and motivation to car pool.

“It is one way in which these associations can contribute to odd-even. SDMs should contact RWAs and motivate them to share rides with neighbours,” said Rai.

RWAs feel that the government can do more to make things easier for residents.

“We want better public transport, improved last-mile connectivity and putting an end to surge pricing in cabs. Places like Bangalore have managed to stop surge pricing and Delhi should do the same,” said Rajeev Kakaria, member, Greater Kailash

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