If you live in a big city, then chances are that you use public transport quite frequently. In fact, if you don’t have your own vehicle in the big city, you probably commute everywhere by public transport. The great thing about public transport is how accessible it is and how easy it is to travel by. In the recent past, it has become easier to get a taxi thanks to smartphones and apps. Taxis were usually called for and if you were lucky you got one immediately. Sometimes, you could wait for minutes on end with no taxi in sight. If your luck is really bad, finding a taxi is as difficult as finding nemo! How do you bypass this entire luck factor? Simply by using your smartphone. A lot of people spend their entire lives using public transport because it has completely eliminated the hassle of having to move around in your own car and more importantly all of the work that comes with owning your own transport – driving, maintenance, parking.
One of the early steps aimed at making people more fuel efficient was carpooling. But that worked if you had a group of friends or acquaintances who travelled to the same place and had similar working hours. Carpooling was more effective for parents with schoolgoing children. Major European cities have banned the functioning of such services because of various user complaints received as well as widespread protest by public transport services. These days there is an easier way to be fuel efficient – share your taxi ride. If you aren’t exactly in a hurry to reach your destination one of the things that you can do is to share your ride with other commuters who are travelling along a similar route.
If the goal is to build a rapport then this works perfectly. However, there are a lot of drivers and customers who take advantage of the reach of these networks to propagate the wrong ideas. The flip side is that these networks enable a degree of accountability.
A lot of ridesharing and ride sourcing companies have been facing a lot of flak since the industry is not as heavily regulated as public transport companies. This means that even if there were an issue they could simply bypass a lot of the norms since they don’t apply to private operators.