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Monday, October 13, 2008

Now, share a cab at the click of a mouse

To reduce traffic congestion on city roads, website launches free taxi-pool service where commuters can coordinate with each other

Tired of waiting for share-a-cab facilities at your nearest railway station? Fret not. You can join a taxi-pool service that offers you a lift right at your doorstep, with just a click of the mouse. In its bid to provide a solution to the growing traffic congestion in the city, a carpooling website has introduced a taxi-pooling system from this week.
    Though the website www.carpoolmumbai.com was founded in 2006, it got a boost only after the Mumbai Traffic Police recommended it to citizens at the beginning of this year. The website provides a platform where people interested in taking or offering lifts can co-ordinate with each other. As carpooling became popular, the website introduced a system where people could co-ordinate with each other and then meet to share a taxi.
    Hitesh Jain, the website's managing director, said,
"There are more than 15,000 people who take taxis from the suburbs to their offices in south Mumbai and back in the evening. These people travelling from one part of the city to another can use the share-a-taxi facility. This will bring down the number of taxis on Mumbai roads by a third."
    Though the share-a-cab system is available in various parts of city, it is mainly limited to the business districts and the nearest railway stations such as one between Nariman point and CST and Worli to Parel station. The website hopes to provide a solution to the thousands of commuters who regularly travel in the north-south direction.
    Jain said, "People can register themselves on the website and find out, who else will be travelling to the same destination on a particular day, at a particular time. The members will be provided with the contact details of other members and they can
share the taxi fares among themselves. The service we provide is absolutely free."
    Sunit Kumar, a transport expert and consultant with an infrastructure firm said, "We need taxi-pooling in the city as it will not only reduce traffic congestion but will also help reduce pollution and save fuel. Only strong public transportation facilities can alter the city's current traffic scenario."
Carpooling is a shared use of a private car, in particular for commuting to and from work and other purposes, often by car owners (drivers) and people (passengers) travelling to the same destination by other means of transport. Carpooling it is most appropriate for pre-planned or regular journeys including:
    Getting to and from work. Getting to the airport, railway stations
Traveling to a festival, temples, marriage, big event or show.

    'Taxi pooling is needed, but I doubt if it will be successful. Instead, a share-a-taxi stand should be created at all railway stations. – Manoj Vaidya, Goregaon resident

    'We sometimes share a taxi among our colleagues. However, we are not very regular. I would like to be part of such a taxi-pool service. – Yogesh Wargehede, Mulund resident

    'It will help curb my expenses. I had joined a car pool but I found it difficult to co-ordinate. The similar problem may arise with the taxi-pooling service. – Jyoti Krishna Patel, Bandra resident


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