I’ve always wanted to develop a car pooling platform. There are a few reasons why car pooling would work very well in Malaysia:
1) Most city people are getting quite environmental conscious.
2) Car pooling is way better than taking an express bus or train.
3) Depending on who you are hitching the ride with and the conditions attached with the ride, car pooling usually delivers you to your doorstep using the least amount of time. Express buses, ironically, usually stops for long ‘tea-breaks’ along their journeys which makes the traveling much more unbearable that it already is.
4) You can collect a little fee from each passengers to share the cost of traveling.
5) You can have someone to talk to during the entire trip. Hence car pooling could be a very effective socializing tool.
Yet, there are a few reasons why car pooling might not work:
1) Hitching a ride with a stranger, especially in a crime-infested nation like Malaysia is an absolute no-no. So, if you can only car pool with someone you know, the destinations and trips available would be severely limited.
2) Most car pooling trips are usually one-way trips. So, it’s very likely that you would still need to take an express bus on your way back to your original destination. Unless, of course, car pooling becomes a major part of the motoring culture in Malaysia.
3) If you are stuck with an ‘unpleasant’ passenger for the entire trip, say from Johor Bahru all the way to Penang (about a thousand kilometres), you would wish you’d taken the bus instead.
So, while I was pondering the feasibility of an online car pooling platform for Malaysians, I decided to do some quick research on existing online car pooling systems. Ah…the wonders of the Internet, and it wasn’t long before I stumble upon a car pooling system that is very close to what I have in mind. It is linked to Google Map’s API, which is a great feature and it automatically allows me to publish my rides to people I personally know on Facebook (via the Facebook Connect API). The car sharing tool that can do this right away is Zimride.
Now, you can start offering your ride too, and make some pocket money! Oh, in case you are wondering, Zimride did not pay me for this article ;-)