In one way or the other, Delhiites always find themselves becoming lab rats for experimentation of policies by the Government. Post the appointment of Arvind Kejriwal as the Chief Minister of the capital, we can't seem to get enough of the technology services being rolled out by the Delhi Government. We have the Swachh Delhi app that helps us report garbage accumulation and proliferation. Then there is the relaunched Poochh-o app developed by the Delhi Integrated Multi-Model Transit System. There's also an app called Traffic Sentinel, developed by Delhi Police, which gives citizens the power to report traffic violations by capturing them on their smartphones. For all these services and apps, the Delhi Government deserves a round of applause, but the same cannot be said for the city's upcoming odd-even rule. Yes, starting 1st January, for 15 days, you will only be able to travel in your own car on alternate days. Knowing Delhiites, all the 'jugaads' will come in play during this time and if the rule extends beyond 15 days. The Government has implemented this rule to keep Delhi's life-threatning pollution in check. DTC busses and metros are already over-crowded and with the new rule in place, it's going to be a battle for finding a spot (Mumbai local travellers will empathise). Thankfully, technology has a solution for Delhi's odd-even problem aswell. Here's a list of apps that will help you travel in and around the capital, for the next 15 days starting tomorrow.
1) Bla Bla Car
Bla Bla Car is a community marketplace for car pooling. Drivers with empty seats in their cars list out a minimal price to accomodate other passengers looking to share the same route. Seat prices vary acoording to the distance and car owner's preference. The app is available on Android and iOS, using which people can simply enter their departure and arrival destination to find the nearest ride. Users can also send a private message to car owners, to reserve their seat and arrange a common meeting point. Users can check the trustworthiness of drivers by viewing their profiles and member ratings on the platform.
2) Zoom Car
Zoom car is a car rental service for self drive cars. You can rent a car for 1 hour or 1 week and the same can be picked up at a location near you. Zoom car's hatchback prices start ar Rs. 45 for an hour, which includes taxes, fuel and insurance. The Zoom Car app is available on the Google Playstore as well as the iOS app store. Alternatively Zoom Car also has a desktop website where bookings can be made. Users can upload their driver's license and pay the refundable security deposit to book their Zoom car, post which the company sends an SMS with a number plate, 20 minutes before the booking starts.
Revv is another self drive car rental service. The only difference here is that the company delivers the cars to a user's doorstep. Interestingly enough, the car delivery executives use a foldable electric scooter that fits in the boot of the car, as a way of getting back to the parking hubs. Users need to put in their address and time for the car delivery after which a Revv car will be delivered to their doorstep. Post usage, the car is picked up an executive from the user's destination. The only catch here is that users will need to book a car for a minimum of 4 hours. The app does not take the booking for a time less than 4 hours. The Revv app is available on both iOS and Android.
4)Ryde by ibibo
Ryde is a car sharing app that allows users to find affordable rides with people travelling to similar destinations. Payments for shared 'Rydes' can be made online, allowing passengers to go cashless. Ryde also allows users to view the entire route of the driver's car along with their car model and registeration number. Star ratings by users lend authenticity to the drivers, making it easier to choose a particular car pool. You can also view a driver's profile and preferences before booking your ride. For example, if the driver smokes, he/she can opt to provide that information so that fellow passengers can make their decision prior to choosing the ride. The Ryde app is available for both Android and iOS users.
5) Carpool by Meru
The Carpool app by Meru is available only on Google Playstore. To use Meru's Carpool, users will have to download the Meru Cabs mobile app as well. To book a ride, users have to enter their the start and end points of their journey. The app comes with a built-in Paytm wallet, allowing users to store their credit/debit cards and go cashless.
An Android exclusive, the Poochh-O app can be your go to app for navigating your way around Delhi, during the odd-even days. Users will be able to hitch an auto or a Taxi ride by using their smartphones. The app will provide users with locations of autos and taxi's around them along with a phone number to contact the drivers. The app will also provide information on estimated fare, trip distance and travel time. For Orange coloured DTC busses, the app will give users data about the bus route, gives tentative seat availability info, tracks the location of the bus and plans a trip complete with traffic information. A congestion map of Delhi can be pulled up anytime, allowing users to skip certain crowded roads. This certainly will be a huge help for public transport takers from 1st to 15th of January.
Helpchat is your very own personal assistance messaging platform that you can use to ask any queries related to odd/even rules. You can also utilise the app to book cabs from any of the taxi aggregators.
While you also have an option to use app based taxi services like Ola, Uber and Meru, you might find it difficult to book these cabs due to high demand by consumers during the odd-even days. So, get set for a very odd start to the new year and let's hope this rule makes some difference to Delhi's pollution problems.