(Tushar Tere, The Times of India, March 29, 2012)
VADODARA: Whenever Vimal Solanki wants to travel from Ahmedabad to Vadodara, he just logs onto a website to find matching profile of some person who is travelling on the same route. Though Solanki has been using social several networking sites for staying connected with friends, he seldom knew that one of them would help him reduce his travelling expenditure by almost half every month. However, a website started by a Barodian that focuses on car pooling has helped him in saving lot of money and also make new friends.
With rapid industrialization and expanding urban areas, travelling costs of Gujaratis have shot up. Also, driving on congested roads is becoming increasingly difficult. To avoid the double trouble, Gujaratis are increasingly turning to vehicle pooling. Such is the demand for vehicle pooling that a city-based entrepreneur is coming up with another website that will not only help people in finding partners for car pooling but also offer chat and video updating facilities.
"The concept of vehicle pooling was prevalent in metro cities. I launched the website in Ahmedabad in June last year with aim of reducing people's fuel costs and promoting environmental cause. Also, it helps people in networking and making new friends. Once the user uploads his route and requirements, we provide him with matching profiles. He can contact them directly and discuss further details," said Suresh Purohit, an entrepreneur who started www.olivetrips.com that offers car pooling service for free.
About 275 Gujaratis are availing benefits of vehicle sharing through his site and the number is increasing every month.
Purohit, an MBA graduate said that trend of vehicle pooling will pick up faster when people know about such website and understand benefits of sharing system.
City-based entrepreneur Ruchira has gone a step ahead and introduced the concept of socializing through vehicle pooling website.
The focus is to reduce environment pollution and congestion on roads.
Traffic expert Satyen Kulabker said, "Such initiatives can help reduce air pollution and traffic jams considerably. People can not only save considerable amount every month but also enjoy smooth ride on roads. I am sure that people in Gujarat will take to such concept soon."