Nowadays, Singaporeans are becoming more and more receptive with the idea of carpooling.
Various carpooling apps were being introduced in the island since 2015. As a result, a new regulation mandating carpool drivers to get paid was made. This marks as a thumbs up from the government since making the country car lite is still a goal to be reached.
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At the end of 2015, the number of registered cars reached a five year low. This does not point on the prices of COE, but rather experts say that the app such as Uber and Grab may have created such effect since there is a rise in the number of rental cars.
What is Carpooling?
Carpooling is different from the original idea introduced by Uber and Grab. Instead of activating apps and getting a driver pick them up to go to a specific destination, the carpool driver can share his or her car with others.
In a simple scenario, if a driver goes to work and he wants to share the empty seats in the car, he can pick up riders along the way with the use of an app.
Picking up riders on the road and in parking lots are strictly prohibited. However, the driver and riders can agree about pick up locations and the time.
Carpooling is not for done for profit as drivers are only allowed to have two carpool trips a day. Carpooling is just like sharing the ride with friends and the costs, including the gas.
Reduce Carbon Footprint
The government is now in an active fight against pollution to help with the global warming problems. If there are lesser cars on the road, then less fuel will be used while a couple of people can arrive at places they needed to go. The carbon emitted by cars may be reduced to 1/3 if three people use a car every day.
Split Ride Cost
Since the driver gets paid on the ride, there is no need to worry about shelling out cash for the gas. Also the riders don’t have to pay the whole bill since they are sharing it with other riders. Another advantage when we talk about costs is that there is no surcharge in carpooling.
People get to meet other people. We have to admit that Singaporeans are now getting busy with their jobs and other responsibilities that they start to be strangers even to their next door neighbors. If you are an extrovert, then this experience can be fun for you as well as convenient. You can meet people with various interests. And you may get to share your ride with them every day.
Reduce Traffic Congestion
Congested traffic is no fun during rush hour. People waste their time stuck in the traffic while they could have been spending it with their family and loved ones. Also some rides get more expensive whenever there’s a high demand. With carpool, there will be lesser cars on the road, easing the traffic situation.
Sudden Appointment Changes Due to Errands
Carpooling is not all sunshine and rainbow. There are some disadvantages, such as sudden errands that must be done.
For example, the driver may have to go home earlier to pick up a child who suddenly got sick in school. This will cause the riders to use another mode of transportation to get home on their own.
Another is if the rider has sudden work demands before the shift ends. The driver will have to wait instead of just going home after the day’s job.
There is also the possibility that people have driving ethics. The key here is clear communication between the riders and the driver.
Car Insurance Doesn’t Cover Accident Claim on Commercial Basis
Private vehicles may have insurances; however, it may not cover the damages if the car was used commercially during the accident. Contact your insurance provider and inform them that you plan to use your car in carpooling. You can also ask them regarding the extent of your car insurance coverage.
Popular Carpool Apps in Singapore
Ryde is one of the most popular carpooling app in the country. It uses a “proprietary algorithm” to calculate the price based on variable costs of petrol, depreciation, and maintenance.
While there is still risk of certain assaults during carpooling, Ryde is insured to $1,000,000 against sexual assault claims and third party liabilities. This means that they give insurance to those who had accidental death and permanent disablement three months after the incident during carpool. Just be sure that you are a verified member to get insured.
To keep the safety of the carpooling community, Ryde has a two way review wherein drivers and riders can evaluate each other. Those who have less than 4 stars will be suspended from the community for a month.
SwiftBack charges a base rate of $2.00 with additional $0.50 after each kilometer. The payment can either be in cash (soon) or deducted from your registered credit card. Matching can be based of the user’s preference including gender.
Grab Hitch takes pride that it is not an on-demand commercial ride but rather a social ride sharing app. The fares are calculated by Grab and it only covers the driver’s variable costs. Grab is currently negotiating for cross-border carpooling services to cater to those crossing the borders in between Singapore and Malaysia. As of now, the authority does not allow the use of cars in the island not registered in LTA, and Malaysia has a similar regulation. Nevertheless, Grab Hitch started a test run and collecting various reactions from people.
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