For better last-mile connectivity, Hyderabad Metro promotes car pooling ‘rPool’ feature on RedBus app

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Hyderabad Metro. PTI Photo

To further ensure affordable, safe and first and last-mile connectivity, Hyderabad Metro is now encouraging car and bike pooling for its commuters. Though shared mobility is not a new concept, it has been limited to micro-networks of friends and peers.

Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited and the L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited joined hands with online bus ticketing platform RedBus to introduce 'rPool', a new feature on the RedBus mobile app.

Interested users can now download the RedBus app and register themselves for the service. Dedicated rPool zones are set up at 18 metro stations across Hyderabad as of today with dedicated parking space for those offering rides.

The registration process will require the user to be verified through their official email ID or any government-approved identification.

Users can create a ride with their source, destination, date and time. Those offering a ride will have to share details of vehicle and route plan in order to find matching riders, invite them, confirm the ride and travel.

The rates are the prerogative of the person offering the ride, though it has been decided to keep it between Re 1 to Rs 5 per km for cars and Re 1 to Rs 4 per km for bikes. A ride giver can offer a maximum of only four rides a day.

Speaking at the launch, Prakash Sangham, CEO, RedBus said that RedBus will not charge any commission from the users as an introductory offer. According to him, a passenger will have to make advance payment through the app and the rider will be compensated after completion of the ride. Payments will be entirely through the online mode, he added.

Further, he said that both the rider and the passenger gets an insurance during the ride free of cost. The call masking feature is enabled to ensure the rider's and the passenger's privacy. An in-app chat is also available for communication, he added.

rPool has been launched on a pilot basis in Pune and Bangalore apart from Hyderabad. "Hyderabad Metro is our only collaboration till date. There are 100 cars per 1000 persons, which is five times the national average. It is a cause for concern because it causes a lot of traffic congestion on roads and leads to associated problems of pollution," he said.

Echoing similar views, managing director of HMRL, NVS Reddy said traffic congestion and pollution cannot be solved at once. "Car and bike pooling is one way to reduce vehicles on roads and reduce pollution," he said.

RedBus through its kiosks at metro stations will distribute 1000 smart metro cards to initial users.

Here are the Metro stations with rPool zones at present:

Raidurg, Hitec City, DurgamCheruvu, Jubilee Hills checkpost, Ameerpet, Miyapur, JNTU, KPHB colony, Kukatpally, Nagole, Uppal, Tarnaka, Parade grounds, Rasoolpura, Irrum Manzil and LB Nagar.