Ride-sharing and car-pooling are efficient modes of “private” transport enabled by smartphones and equally smart apps.
I jumped on the ride-sharing bandwagon a few months ago. Prior to that, if I wasn’t driving, I would either take a bus, MRT train or private-hire car.
I was expecting to have to tolerate incessant chatting or awkward silence with fellow riders, but my shared Grab/Uber experience turned out to be just like any other ordinary ride.
Besides, the vehicles I’ve sat in so far were all very new. Some have been on the roads for only a few months, and most of the drivers were courteous and friendly, and they drove surprisingly carefully, too.
The shared rides were mostly Hondas, Mitsubishis and Toyotas, but there were unexpected cars, such as a BMW 5 Series.
I’m now very well-acquainted with the interiors of the Honda Vezel and Mitsubishi Attrage. The occasional chat with drivers about the fuel consumption they’re getting and what they like about their vehicles has also been rather entertaining.
What started out as a cheaper option than booking a personal ride all to myself took on another meaning later.
My daughter and I were waiting to be picked up by our car-pool driver one day and she commented that car-pooling is a good way of saving the earth.
She said that by sharing a car with other commuters instead of driving our own, we can reduce pollution. She went on to add that taking a train would be even better, “because a train can carry many passengers and it runs on electricity, so there is no stinky exhaust”. As an afterthought, she figured that buses aren’t bad either, based on the ratio of “one exhaust to many passengers”.
She eventually concluded that if we were to drive, we should always try to achieve maximum passenger capacity – “maybe find a few other people who are also going to the same place”.
I’m not sure if this was how GrabHitch came about, but it is something worth thinking about.
I am awfully proud of her sense of social responsibility, coming from a six-year-old. At such a young age, she has already grasped the concept of saving the earth. I presume that most children her age would also have been inculcated with such sensibilities through school, television and social media.
If this is the attitude of our young, we adults can rest assured that they’ll grow up to be a generation that takes responsibility for our planet.