MyRideBuddy provides dynamic and real time carpooling solution in Singapore
At Green Business Singapore, we embrace the emerging idea of Collaborative Consumption or sharing empowered by technology and social networks, and are excited about how it will change consumption and the way businesses operate. The term Collaborative Consumption was first described in the book What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers.
One example of Collaborative Consumption is a dynamic carpooling or carsharing service enhanced by technology, so that users can get real-time information on available car rides, and enjoy the benefits of a car without having to own one. MyRideBuddy is one such service launched recently in Singapore.
We recently met up with Mr Ashoketaru Sengupta, Co-Founder of Ananya Ventures Pte Ltd, who came up with the MyRideBuddy carpooling solution. Ashoke also provides business advisory to help start-ups get funding and grow.
Ashoke shared that the idea initially sprouted from his wife, Shyamasri, when he and his wife were in Mumbai and usually had to spend long hours on the road due to traffic congestion. When they came to Singapore a few years ago, they liked the congestion-free roads here, although they are now starting to find more congestion problems with increasing number of cars. Ashoke felt that the traffic in Singapore should avoid becoming like Mumbai, and decided to realize his wife’s initial idea and turn it into a practical solution.
Ashoke thinks that Singapore is an ideal place to implement his carpooling solution as Singapore is a compact city with sufficient number of cars, and is a digitized society with people being IT-savvy and heavy users of smartphones. The MyRideBuddy system is self-funded by Ashoke and is in beta testing since March this year, and the soft launch is expected soon.
The MyRideBuddy idea is explained in this short video:
[youtube width=”590″ height=”472″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvjWLKLeJls[/youtube]
Ashoke’s vision is to take away the pain of carpooling. During the design of the MyRideBuddy service, various social, economical and psychological aspects were considered. He wants a system that is easy to use and where the system does most of the work. The system should match car rides among like-minded people so that ride takers and car owners feel comfortable with each other in the car, and should also be flexible in rescheduling rides.
Ashoke shared that the system cannot just rely on the usual philanthropic model for carpooling services, and must provide monetary incentives for the car owners in order for the system to scale. Car owners should be paid for sharing their cars but can choose to donate the money to a green or social cause and contribute to a good change.
Currently, the barriers are to get people to be aware of the service and how quickly the service can scale up. Once MyRideBuddy takes off in Singapore, Ashoke hopes to export this Singapore solution and take it to other cities in Asia.
How It Works
MyRideBuddy is the first, dynamic and real time carpooling solution in Singapore. Carpooling is when two or more people share a car and travel together. It allows individuals to benefit from the convenience of the car, while reducing costs and the problems of congestion and air pollution. MyRideBuddy matches users near common start and end points or en route drop-off points, so that they can share a car ride together according to their convenience and preferences.
MyRideBuddy uses an advanced real-time algorithm engine to help match someone going in a particular direction with a car (called the “car owner”) with someone else who wants to go in the same direction (called the “ride taker”), both together called “ride partners” or “ride buddies”.
The engine matches not just the journey or the route but also preferences of users in terms of profile of the ride partners. It then provides the required information on the ride match, the ride partners and other relevant information required to enable the ride share, via email and SMS.
All you need to do is to state when you want to carpool, and the start and end points. MyRideBuddy will automatically match partners and send you the required information. It will also inform you about the time of the pick up, the location and the car and ride partner details.
MyRideBuddy does not charge a fee for users to register and be a member, but the ride taker will be requested to buy Ride Miles (1 Ride Mile is equivalent to S$1) and have adequate credit balance in their Ride Miles account. Ride takers can top-up their Ride Miles account by credit card or PayPal. The ride taker has to pay Ride Miles to the car owner, and a transaction fee will be deducted to pay MyRideBuddy. On average, 5 Ride Miles allows a ride taker to take 1 ride. The car owners can choose to keep the money or donate the money to a green or social cause.
The MyRideBuddy system also shows your carbon emissions saved from carpooling. This easy and convenient carpooling service enables you to save money, get to know more friends, reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a green cause.
Ashoketaru Sengupta, shareholder and director, is a leading finance and business development professional with 20 years of work experience across markets in Asia Pacific. He also runs an independent business advisory and consultancy service.
Shyamasri Das Sharma, shareholder and director, is a seasoned banker and is currently employed in a top tier global investment bank.
Source and images: MyRideBuddy