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Old 2nd September 2015, 19:44   #1
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Default Meru launches 'CarPool' - A ride sharing service

This service has been launched from 1st Sep. One differentiating aspect compared to other ride sharing services is, apart from the cars from private owners, Meru is planning to use its own fleet.

http://forbesindia.com/article/speci...arpool/41017/1

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Those who wish to register as ride-owners with CarPool must provide details of their Facebook account, driver’s license, and PAN or Adhaar card to use the platform and connect with other users. Ride-owners and passengers can apply filters such as male or female drivers / passengers, and smokers or non-smokers while searching for rides. Rides can be cancelled free of charge up to 45 minutes before time of departure. Meru is willing to use its own taxis to ensure that a consumer is not left stranded or inconvenienced. All transactions will occur through PayTM mobile wallet. CarPool services will currently not be available between 10.30 pm and 4 am because of security concerns.

Although the service is currently free of charge for ride-owners, Meru hopes to take a 5 to 10 percent commission after the initial experimental period of three to four months.

We believe that the overall market potential of CarPool in India is roughly about $15 billion. And not counting growth,” says Pahwa. “We think a good 15 to 20 percent of that market is going to be achieved by Meru in the next four to five years.” These numbers are based on the 1.2 crore personal cars in the top 20 cities, and assuming that only 50 percent of these become ride-owners and give about 30 rides a month with two passengers that cost Rs 150 per passenger.
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Old 2nd September 2015, 21:56   #2
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Default re: Meru launches 'CarPool' - A ride sharing service

What's the differentiating factor here? Haven't we always used such shared cabs? Observe just the ORR in Bangalore and see how many cab drivers offering shared drives for the price less than bus fare.
I somehow can't convince myself that the carpooling idea would take off in a big way, though shared taxi could work. We would rather trust an unknown taxi driver than an unknown private car driver.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 00:12   #3
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Default re: Meru launches 'CarPool' - A ride sharing service

Car pooling with private unknown drivers is an idea dead on arrival. I'll certainly not hop into one. Those figures of $15 billion look like it's been calculated by a kid with a new calculator. Let's see how many numbers fit into my shiny calc...15(my birthday) 000,000,000..& publish.

Neither will I want to share my own car with strangers. Fuel and environmental concerns are irrelevant.

I'll drive 4200 km from Delhi to Bangkok on the newly opened road than share the drive with God knows who. Unless it's with Sunny Leone!
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Old 3rd September 2015, 12:26   #4
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Default re: Meru launches 'CarPool' - A ride sharing service

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Originally Posted by hybridpetrol View Post
What's the differentiating factor here?

I somehow can't convince myself that the carpooling idea would take off in a big way, though shared taxi could work.
You are spot on. If Meru can formalize sharing their taxis, this would be a good differentiating factor. Of course, sharing a cab with others would pose security issues like mugging, molestation, rape etc... But, the choice should always be with the user and (s)he should be able to choose not to share a cab with others.
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Old 4th September 2015, 13:07   #5
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Default Re: Meru launches 'CarPool' - A ride sharing service

An idea that is seriously dead on arrival. It's as if Meru's management was desperate to come up with something different (due to innovative Ola & Uber taking their business away).

As things stand today, I don't think ride sharing has a future in India. Our law & order system isn't up to the mark, crime rates are high, public transportation is cheap and Indians are perpetually late. The last point is important - a late driver or passenger means that particular ride is off.

We're suspicious by culture too. It isn't easy for Indians to trust strangers.

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Originally Posted by hybridpetrol View Post
What's the differentiating factor here?
That Meru is allowing personal cars (not just Meru cabs) to participate in this.

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Originally Posted by hangover View Post
Car pooling with private unknown drivers is an idea dead on arrival. I'll certainly not hop into one.
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Old 4th September 2015, 13:48   #6
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Default Re: Meru launches 'CarPool' - A ride sharing service

Technology could solve the issue to some extent. If you are enrolled in this, it could flash the rider's information on your mobile before hand and you could accept or decline before hand.
But then basically, its doing a driver's job Price will also have to be fixed and the backend systems need to be right to handle everything well.

People might not be comfortable and some professionals might use this app/facility instead.

Last edited by srishiva : 4th September 2015 at 13:50.
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Old 4th September 2015, 14:39   #7
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Default Re: Meru launches 'CarPool' - A ride sharing service

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
An idea that is seriously dead on arrival. It's as if Meru's management was desperate to come up with something different (due to innovative Ola & Uber taking their business away).
Completely agreed!
But another dimension of this: Will Meru try to slowly force the users to share the cabs in the future?
e.g. The app announces that all the cabs are already full, and tells that you can share a cab with another person who is also going the same way, at a discounted fare. The other person gets a discount coupon code for his next cab ride, as a bonus for sharing the ride with you.
Another e.g. You book a Meru cab to reach railway station. The cab comes on time, but the cab already has 2 people sitting in. The driver informs that, they also travel to the same railway station, and asks you to 'adjust'.
By agreeing to this adjustment, you will be refunded part of your fare in your PayTM wallet.

Since we have shared our rides with unknown strangers in trains / buses / shared autos etc, the above can be pushed easily into our throats.
By this, they will increase ride efficiency and their revenues. But the safety aspect goes into the drain, and those who demand independent cabs for less occupants will probably be charged a premium.

I am not sure about their carpooling part though. Whether it is the independent cab drivers attaching to Meru, like Ola, or the private car owners sharing just a few rides like Blabla car and other carpooling apps.
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Old 5th September 2015, 11:59   #8
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Default Re: Meru launches 'CarPool' - A ride sharing service

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Originally Posted by hangover View Post
*SNIP*
I'll drive 4200 km from Delhi to Bangkok on the newly opened road than share the drive with God knows who. Unless it's with Sunny Leone!
Sorry to go OT, but this one line piqued my interest. Can you tell me more about this new road? I see no results when I google this.

Thanks and cheers
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Old 7th September 2015, 13:43   #9
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Default Re: Meru launches 'CarPool' - A ride sharing service

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
As things stand today, I don't think ride sharing has a future in India. Our law & order system isn't up to the mark, crime rates are high ...

We're suspicious by culture too. It isn't easy for Indians to trust strangers.
Yet AirBnB works ... (though I have never tried it)

Quote:
and Indians are perpetually late. The last point is important - a late driver or passenger means that particular ride is off.
You are right - A real spanner in the works. But as Meru has mentioned, they will use their own cabs to take care of such exigencies.
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Old 15th September 2015, 11:20   #10
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Default Re: Meru launches 'CarPool' - A ride sharing service

How are they going to manage the security aspect? Facebook, license, aadhaar are just not enough. Are they going to perform a background check on every person who registers with them? And how fool-proof are these checks going to be? Havent we heard cases of Ola/Uber(I dont remember which) driver raping a female passenger even though he has a police verification(or whatever) certificate? And will the passenger have access to the details of every other passenger who shares the vehicle? Will they perform police checks for every potential passenger too?

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
As things stand today, I don't think ride sharing has a future in India. Our law & order system isn't up to the mark, crime rates are high, public transportation is cheap and Indians are perpetually late. The last point is important - a late driver or passenger means that particular ride is off.

We're suspicious by culture too. It isn't easy for Indians to trust strangers.
Summed it up. I don't want my fuel bill reduced at the cost of my safety or peace of mind. How do I know the next passenger wont pull out a knife(we are indeed a suspicious culture).

It might work around IT parks I guess, but to the general populace, its plain stupid.
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Old 15th September 2015, 13:40   #11
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Default Re: Meru launches 'CarPool' - A ride sharing service

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Originally Posted by tilt View Post
Sorry to go OT, but this one line piqued my interest. Can you tell me more about this new road? I see no results when I google this.

Thanks and cheers

It's part of a UN ESCAP project which began in 1959. It's basically the linking of national highways in each SE Asian country. Try searching for Asian Highway.

The Thai and Indian ones were always ready. In India it starts or ends (depending on direction of travel) in Moreh in Manipur.

For political reason the Myanmar section of some 3000 km was perpetually delayed. It finally starred in 1958 and as completed and inaugurated on sep 5th, 2015.

Assume you start from Bangkok. Go to a place called Mae Sot. This is the last Thai town. Cross the river. This river is actually the border for these 2 countries. Local maps actually show "Thai side" and "Myanmar side" on the river.

The fish in the river must be very disciplined!

Continue to Yangon, Mandalay and reach Tamu. This is the last Myanmarese town.

Cross the border to town of Moreh. Then it India all the way.

So then it is:
Moreh-Imphal-Kohima-Dimapur; Dimapur-Nagaon; Nagaon-Numaligarh-Jorabat; Jorabat-Shillong-Dawki; Petrapole-Barasat; Baasat-Kolkata; Kolkata-Durgapur-Barhi-Kanpur-Agra-New Delhi.

I think the company Punj-Lloyd did some of the Indian work.
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Old 15th October 2015, 00:46   #12
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Default Re: Meru launches 'CarPool' - A ride sharing service

I tried to register, but they want my own photo in my Facebook profile! Sorry, I won't!
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Old 19th October 2015, 15:57   #13
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Surprise surprise! Got a call from a Meru representative who wanted to check if I had posted my photo for carpooling.

On hearing my reasons for not changing my Facebook profile pic, he asked me to upload my pic in the app.

Did that and now am waiting.

Meru sure is serious about this endeavour, it seems. Any idea how many have registered?
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