Is Carpooling an efficient way to travel?
Author : Senior Writer at Chatur Ideas
Posted : 4 years ago
  • Sameer Khanna, Folksvagn, carpooling, founder, Sameer Khanna Folksvagn

 If you live in a metropolitan city, then you would know that commuting via road to work or leisure is becoming more and more frustrating every single day. Carpooling is not a new concept, we often see that coworkers or friends who work at the same workplace share a ride to work to cut down on their expenses for travelling. Carpooling is a simple solution to save on travel expense, not only can it indirectly decrease the traffic jams, but also help in reducing pollution levels. 

Sameer khanna, a Delhi resident, and a former senior manager at Erickson felt that in order to decrease traffic jams and pollution levels of the city, carpooling concept was a necessity. But while he was certain about this concept, he realized that Carpooling has its own several shortcomings. He did his detailed groundwork research and realized that there were two specific reasons why this business has not caught up yet, one main reason was the inflexibility of rides and second was awkwardness of handling the monetary transaction within carpoolers.

Making a note of these shortfalls, Khanna decided to act on this pressing problem.  And that’s when the India’s largest carpooling community was born and khanna named it ‘FolksVagn!’

So how does FolksVagn work?

It’s simple FolksVagn is available in two forms, first is the website and the second form is the app. It’s a customer-to-customer platform where two types of users can register, the carpoolers and the travelers. The user can book a car which is on his or her route, by going to the website and adding himself or herself in the carpooling group. For this service, user spends Rs 3.50 per KM. To remove the awkwardness of monetary transactions, FolksVagn has a wallet feature, the site will not let the user book the car if the user doesn’t have enough cash for the ride.  Out of Rs 3.50, which is charged to the user Rs 3 goes to the carpooler’s wallet and 50 Paise goes to FolksVagn.

After the unfortunate Uber cab incident, where the driver of the cab raped a female passenger at a knifepoint, one may ask how safe it is?  To address this issue, Khanna has specifically made “Women Only” ride sharing groups, with that they have also kept a mandatory verification for the carpoolers for all the groups. FolkVagn also collects feedback from the users, and all users have the ability to flag any member for a disorderly conduct, the moment a user gets five flags, the user is automatically banned from the website.

Sameer acknowledges and understands the complexity and the issues for related to the carpooling business, he says, “Asking people to change a habit is the most difficult thing. They have a fixed mindset; people will say it is a brilliant idea, but they won’t use it themselves. It took us six months to get to first 200 users.”

FolksVagn currently has over 10,000 people on their platform and they are adding 100 new member’s every day as they grow and make the app-based service less cumbersome and reliant. They already have a strong presence in Delhi, but Khanna and his Team are now focusing on strategies to pave their way in other metros like Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Bangalore, and Hyderabad.

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