“Traditionally, carpooling has been loosely handled between friends and colleagues, if they happen to live close to each other,” says the app’s co-founder Anthony Pizanias. “We help make it easier for users to find a ride with colleagues in the same area, and even provide drivers with GPS coordination for the ride. Hopefully it will promote carpooling as a feasible option for people.”
After successfully trialling the app earlier this year, the team at Mobi is particularly keen to help employers set up their own carpooling programs. Organisations can use the service for free, and get updates on how many cars they are taking off the road and what this saves in carbon emissions. It comes at a time when reducing the need for carparking and alleviating congestion are seen by many as economic and social imperatives.
Perhaps less obvious is the networking potential offered by carpooling. “The people we work with strongly influence our workplace satisfaction,” says Anthony. “Providing employees with new ways to connect and get to know each other helps boost this.” With this in mind, the Mobi app includes features designed to kick-start conversations, like user interests and shared social media friends. Individual background checks are completed for safety.
Being up for a chat may make for a more pleasant ride, but it’s not the only rule of etiquette to follow when carpooling, especially for the first time. “For drivers, things like making sure you arrive on time for pick up and ensuring your car is clean are essential,” says Anthony. “And if you can’t make the ride, try to give the rider plenty of time to find an alternative.”
If you’re the one in the passenger seat, make sure you’re ready to go when the driver arrives, and be open to walking to a more suitable pick up spot, such as a quieter street off a main road. All of which seems a small concession in exchange for some friendly banter and a hassle-free lift to work!
The Mobi app is available for download now. Carpooling is one way you can use your car more sustainably. It also counts as a TAKE2 action, so update your profile and make it count.