Ola launches car-pooling services in Delhi

December 28, 2015: Leading cab aggregator Ola on Monday launched a ‘CarPool’ app, allowing residents of Delhi and its satellite cities to pool rides in the wake of the fortnight-long odd-even date formula for taking out cars being implemented by the Delhi government from January 1.

According to the cab aggregator, “users in Delhi will be able to take advantage of Ola's route matching algorithms to pool rides in their car with fellow passengers looking to travel on the same route. The 'Friend List' feature on Ola app allows users to create a custom list by adding friends with their mobile phone numbers.”

The company claimed that all of its safety features including Track Your Ride, Share Ride Details, Emergency Contacts and 24x7 customer care support would be available on CarPool.

There have been several instances in the past of women passengers being molested or sexually harassed by cab drivers that were part of taxi-hailing app services. Authorities around the country now insist that the aggregators incorporate emergency and helpline services in the app.

Though carpooling services have been around for a while – including BlaBlaCar, a leading international, long-distance ridesharing service – they have not proved to be popular among women commuters in India.

American taxi-hailing app provider Uber also recently announced the launch of a car pooling service, uberGo, in Delhi. “By making it easier and more convenient for people going in the same direction at the same time to share the journey, we can help cut congestion and pollution,” noted Gagan Bhatia, head, north region, in a blogpost. “It is a model that has worked in other cities.”

Both Ola and Uber have launched similar services in Bengaluru, another city where motorists have to spend hours in massive traffic snarls every day.