Ride sharing is beyond the much understood meaning that it has had, expanding from the awkward conversations with strangers to an environmentally much viable means of commutation. Initially starting as a much ad hoc cab sharing, the masterminds that work at bringing innovations maxed the idea to ride sharing apps with existing apps like Uber and Lyft progressing to UberPool and LyftLine; in certain cities with the need for it. In the current landscape, many and many companies are looking at developing real ride sharing apps, including better configurations that a user might require. Not only does it help with reduced carbon emissions but is a step further ahead.
While the initial step is to reach to potential riders to use a Smartphone app to get a cab, and I’m sure the potential is huge, getting them to consider sharing a ride is secondary. The bigger challenge here is people to consider it partly unpleasant or sketchy.
And I don’t understand why.
With some of my close kith based in the USA, he found the love of his life, now his wife in a shared cab. Lyft’s extension to LyftLine also shows the picture of a potential ride sharer and therefore is too being used as a dating service.
Anyway, what is here to consider is what is it that will set as a popular and more private mobility solution. And is the answer ride sharing?
Ride Sharing, according to MaRS, is the “innovative transportation strategy that enables users to gain short-term access to transportation modes on an as-needed basis.” Companies in the sort of businesses are using platform based models, than asset based business models that helps them increase productivity, subtly reducing a capital expense. Also, there is a higher possibility for them to geographically expand their horizons nimbly and better propositions to establish globally, soon post launch.
Uber is one of the companies offering mobility solutions and has set a landmark by expanding its geographic footprints by a quadruple in only two years. With their existence in less than a hundred locations at launch, during March 2016, Uber has a footing in 397 cities. By the end of the year, Frost and Sullivan predict its presence in over 500 cities and an estimate 8 million users.
What are the pushbacks?
Both large corps and startups have been seen working in support of ride sharing. And with the global growth that projections show, clearly consumers too are welcoming. However, ridesharing has also surfaced concerns relating to trust and safety, which is a major pushback to such platform based services.
According to Pew Research, Boomers have a trust rate of 40%, which is the highest, while only 31% GenXers are trusting. The Millenials are the least trusting with only 19%.
Tackling the Pushback with the Private Mobility Solution
Lyft, Uber and BlancRide are bigger companies and have worked progressively at tackling trust issues diligently for both- the passengers and the drivers. The Apps have implemented a two-way feedback feature that safeguards interests of both. The system is strict and addresses most intrinsic trust issues. With the online press bringing incidents of harassment and assault in the ride-sharing picture, companies like BlaBlaCar allow female passengers and drivers to select a female companion to take in hand safety.
Proactive decisions taken by companies are a further assurance of how they are determined to making ride-sharing a preferred means in commutation; in defense of the environment, much needed. Globally, and rightfully so, ride-sharing is an issue being served on hot plates; and it is an intricate process planning the operations in cities. The current growth rate and evolution in the technology surely asks for Governments to consider possible future plans during the whole city planning process.
There have been certain instances where the Cab-App service has raised questions over transit strategies. The UPX link between the Toronto Pearson International Airport and the downtown core is one such case in point, where taking an Uber is much convenient and economical. Since city-wise differences in mobility prevail, governmental developmental strategies vary accordingly.
The Indian Economy has however been proactive at addressing the concern. Its 2015 Smart Cities Mission is focused at the promotion of cities with superior infrastructures and fit for “smart solutions.” According to UN Reports, the Indian cities will add about 404 million Urban Dwellers by the close of 2050. Purposed at the same, the Smart Cities Mission will render support over five years to 100 cities, 20 proposals of which have already been selected.
The public sentiment at this, has however already been hit with the existing high traffic, long distance commuting and the concerns for environment. Much and more people are moving to taking cabs; furthermore sharing rides and creating a much sustainable transportation for the future.
In a way, the stage is set! And ride sharing apps, indeed, are being considered as a popular private mobility solution.
How ‘bout putting some brain into it and getting your own app into the market?