Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Educated, High Income, Middle Aged Men Carpooling to Reduce Global Warming

A carpool/rideshare is an arrangement wherein commuters share a vehicle to travel together, thereby saving fuel, money, reducing global warming and traffic. Carpooling is at a very nascent stage in India and has no Government support yet.

“There is an urgent need to create awareness amongst urban commuters about the benefits of carpooling primarily to reduce the harmful effects of Co2 emissions from vehicles which is aiding rapid global warming. Moreover with crude oil prices touching $100 a barrel, government and commuters alike need to look at avenues to reduce their dependency on the pricy fuel” says Udit Bhandari, Founder & CEO of Indimoto.com.

Over 500 commuters who have used the internet (carpool listing/classified sites including Indimoto.com) to enter into carpool/rideshare arrangements across India since 2006 were surveyed. The findings indicate that carpool as a concept has been embraced primarily by educated commuters from major metros with well paying jobs. This trend can be attributed to high internet penetration in the metros and greater awareness of carpools and its benefits amongst such individuals. The traffic situation is the worst in the major metros mainly Delhi, Mumbai & Bangalore so it’s not surprising that majority of car-poolers are from these cities. The maximum car-poolers belong to New Delhi (57%) followed by Mumbai (23%) and Bangalore (8%). Only 16% of the car-poolers are female who however believe the concept to be relatively safe. Majority of car-poolers fall between the age group of 25-40 years (70%) since they account for the most active working population and commute to work daily.

Car-poolers are highly educated with most holding a post graduate qualification (57%). 99% of respondents carpool for an income generating activity and majority (84%) are salaried employees. It becomes evident from the survey that car-poolers are in well paying professions with a majority (57%) earning over Rs. 50 thousand per month and 10% earning upwards of Rs. 1 lakh per month. This can be contributed to well paid private sector employees who are car-pooling to their office places in various metros. Only 6% of the car-poolers do not posses a private vehicle while 86% own one or more cars and share driving responsibilities with fellow car-poolers.

As expected, majority of car-poolers commute over long distances each day, 84% commute over 26 kilometres everyday with 17% travelling over 76 kilometres on a daily commute. Despite this 38% car-poolers are able to keep their commuting costs below Rs. 3000 per month by carpooling. For the car-poolers the primary accrued benefit of carpooling is reduction in CO2 emissions which helps them reduce their carbon footprint in the race to save the planet from global warming. 67% respondents cited this as the main benefit of carpools indicating towards high level of environmental consciousness.

62% appreciated the money saving opportunity which carpooling has created while 53% were glad that they were reducing traffic on choked city streets. Saving of precious fuel was cited as another benefit by 41% of the car-poolers. Contrary to popular belief that carpools are a social challenge, 38% opted for it to increase social interaction with like minded commuters working or living in their vicinity. Reduction of stress due to driving/commuting alone was also a factor which encouraged 31% of the respondents to carpool.

According to Bhandari, based on the findings of the survey, focused awareness programmes can be initiated by various stakeholders such as the Government, city administrations, corporate, climate protection agencies and NGOs etc. This is the second such survey being conducted by Indimoto; the previous one was conducted in 2006.


Indimoto.com is the first online carpool classifieds which enables commuters to post carpool requests and also search for commuters travelling in their city, on their route and time, without any charge. Indimoto.com provides an efficient online mechanism to match commuters and form carpools across 130 Indian cities.

Source: http://www.indiaprwire.com/pressrelease/internet/200712176268.htm

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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