As economies grow, and tech takes shape, service cost saving becomes easier to implement. Rising ride-sharing app, YellowBIRD, is revolutionizing the industry in Uganda with a new car pooling feature. This involves a driver picking up passengers that go the same way he goes, while getting compensated a partial amount for fuel cost.
How does it work?
People with spare seats in their car can use the app to advertise their journey and the cost per seat. The main intention for the drivers is not to make a profit but to have passengers that can be charged an amount to help cover their costs of the journey.
People looking for a ride can then use the YellowBIRD app to find drivers making the same journey and book and pay for the seat. Once the request to travel is accepted by the driver, they can chat within the app and pre-arranged the meeting spot before starting the journey.
Precisely, this is all it takes! The car owner doesn’t provide passengers with on-demand services. They will definitely go to the required destination in any case, regardless of whether he has fellow companions or not. All that the car owner does is to save on fuel and other travel costs but he or she doesn’t intent to earn money of it.
Since this service implies that passengers share a ride, they must participate in the sharing of a total ride cost. In most cases, the cost of fuel is shared between all companions. But also a driver can look for companions not for financial sharing, but for people who have a driving license. When there are 2 or more drivers in the car, it is possible to have a bit rest during the trip.
Is YellowBIRD car pooling a safe alternative in Uganda?
When it comes to ride sharing, safety has always been one of the main concern. People are naturally hesitant about sharing car space with a stranger. What YellowBIRD does is to have each member having pre-registered as a YellowBIRD user, and ensures that they also add a government approved Id to start using the car pooling service with the app.
After using the service, drivers and passengers can rate one another to further boost trust within the community and give future users more information about who they are travelling with.
The app also has a secure messaging service means drivers and passengers can chat before sharing a ride — to find out more about one another and to arrange practical details about the journey.
Benefits of Car pooling
The benefits are simple — drivers offset some of the cost of their journey while passengers gain transport that they might not otherwise have been able to afford.
Cost effectiveness — By having more people using one vehicle, carpooling reduces each person’s travel costs such as: fuel costs, tolls, and the stress of driving.
Environment safety — Carpooling is also a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way to travel as sharing journeys reduces air pollution, carbon emissions, traffic congestion on the roads, and the need for parking spaces. Authorities often encourage carpooling, especially during periods of high pollution or high fuel prices.
Car filling— Car sharing is a good way to use up the full seating capacity of a car, which would otherwise remain unused if it were just the driver using the car.
Challenges with Car pooling
Flexibility — Carpooling can struggle to be flexible enough to accommodate in route stops or changes to working times/patterns.
Reliability — If a carpooling network lacks a “critical mass” of participants, it may be difficult to find a match for certain trips. The parties may not necessarily follow through on the agreed-upon ride. YellowBIRD is addressing this concern by making sure the customer who is interested on a ride pays the reservation and is billed before the trip in case he does not turn up.
Riding with strangers — Concerns over security have been an obstacle to sharing a vehicle with strangers, though in reality the risk of crime is small. One remedy used by internet carpooling schemes is reputation systems that flag problematic users and allow responsible users to build up trust capital, such systems greatly increase the value of the website for the user community.
Women Safety — When it comes to cab or car pool services, women safety is still a major concern. On this matter, we make sure to display the gender of the user in case the passenger only want to travel with the same gender.