I have recently taken up an assignment with a firm which is 18kms away from my place. Which in Bangalore means, I am screwed. The holy trinity of traffic, cab availability and fare spikes had my goat for the first week of the adventure. And then, an angel of a colleague recommended Quick Ride. Here’s my Quick Ride review in one sentence: this service has, since, changed my life for the better. I truly believe this is possibly the best way in which Bangalore can fight back the traffic menace.
What is Quick Ride?
It is a ride-sharing service app, where you can hitch a ride with a registered, verified (by company mail id) commuter, in exchange for a parallel points currency. The app is intuitive, the users are credible, and the choices are aplenty.
Why does it work?
Well, imagine yourself as a driver of a four/five seater car, dragging your empty wagon through the dull, clogged streets of our city for north of an hour every day. The ride is not only the most boring part of your day, but it also leaves you with a bitter taste of guilt from having added one more car on the street. If this annoyed commuter was given the chance of ferrying a few credible and verified individuals across town, have fascinating conversations with like-minded strangers and earn a little on the side for the service, why would they not jump at the opportunity? Also, Quick Ride has succeeded in taking away the two greatest roadblocks of carpooling, time and route match, by matching people very efficiently on these parameters.
For the ride taker, the cost is close to one/fifth of the radio taxi alternative. But, it is more than that. I think I have most enjoyed the diverse company of my fellow commuters in my Quick Rides for the past two weeks. That’s a value that money cannot purchase.
How is this better than UberPool/Ola Share?
The most annoying issue with the share feature on cab rides is the horrible route algorithm that the drivers insist on following to the T. This might mean that you would have to take a detour of quite a few redundant kilometers to get to your destination. In addition, Quick Ride almost always guarantees that you would get to use a clean, well-maintained, personal car in lieu of the poorly managed taxis. Besides, the ride sharing services are atleast 50% cheaper than their taxi sharing counterparts.
ride sharing legal in India?
The confusion around this started when a Hyundai owner was booked and fined by the Bangalore police for making a profit through a similar ride-sharing service, BlaBla Cars. However, a lot of discussions have happened since on the topic and it has been established that as long as the model is based on cost-sharing (appropriate pricing to cover fuel/maintenance costs only), carpooling cannot be construed as illegal. It is perfectly legal and safe to use a service such as Quick Ride, therefore.
A non-Virtual Social Media, really
In the last couple of weeks, I have met a biotechnologist, a car manufacturer, a financial adviser, a freelance corporate lawyer and company secretary, and quite a few software techies in my Quick Rides. I have already referred one of them for a suitable role in my Org. We have the most interesting and diverse conversations on our car rides – topics ranging from SEZ distribution in Bangalore to parenting advice. Everyone is gracious, convivial and courteous, unlike on virtual media, where people hide behind physical distance to be nasty to each other. Honestly, this experience has reminded me of the beautiful, albeit transient, bonds I made during my train rides in Mumbai. It has revived my faith in the general kindness of humanity. What more could I want out of my long commutes?
In a nutshell, Quick Ride, and similar ride-sharing apps are not only a service to the environment, but they are also a great way of rekindling real social connections. If you haven’t taken one yet, give it a go. I am certain you won’t regret it.
This is not a paid review or advertisement. It is based on authentic user experience.
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