BENGALURU: As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserts India’s commitment and rights at the Paris climate conference, the Bengaluru traffic police can claim to be doing their bit to reduce emissions. In the past month, tens of thousands of employees working at the software hubs of Electronic City and Whitefield have started carpooling, responding to the police’s efforts to decongest the city’s roads. All it took was a bit of convincing and the endorsement of a free and secure carpooling app Let’s Drive Along.
The Bengaluru traffic police launched a carpooling campaign in October with an aim to free the roads of at least 30,000 cars in three months. “After the launch, we now have 31,500 employees in Electronics City , International Tech Park (Whitefield) and Manyata Tech Park (near Hebbal) who have started carpooling,” said MA Saleem, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Bengaluru.
About 10 lakh employees work at IT companies in Electronics City and Whitefield.
The premise of the campaign was that 90% of the technology employees in the city drive to their offices alone. “Two cars occupy space enough for one bus that can ferry 120 commuters,” Saleem said.
Worse, employees shell out about Rs 5,000 every month just to park their cars, according to a survey by Let’s Drive Along, which is run by city-based Spantad Solutions.
“This app is convenient and I could choose the right companion to tag along with,” said Lakshmi Naik, who is a technology employee working at Electronics City . “It feels good to reduce the carbon footprint while saving the fuel cost for myself. The best part is you are not alone when stuck in traffic.”
Saleem clarified that the Let’s Drive Along app is meant only for car owners.”The idea is to reduce cars driving to the IT corridors. More and more number of people is coming forward to register for this initiative,” he said.
Madhav Reddy , who works for an IT company in Whitefield, had just about given up on the idea of carpooling because of the difficulties involved in bringing fellow travellers together every day .
With Let’s Drive Along, he now travels with four others in one car. “We take turns to bring our own cars every day,” Reddy said. “There is no payment requirement. We enjoy the ride.”