A growing number of people from Quezon City are driving alone in their cars to Makati every day for work, increasing the volume of paralyzing traffic afflicting the entire Metro area. According to a recent survey by the popular European carpooling app, Wunder, over 20,000 people in Quezon City are using a car to commute downtown and 65% of them are driving by themselves.
“It’s no secret that driving in a car by yourself is the most expensive way to travel for individuals and society at large” says Sam Baker, Wunder’s Chief Operating Officer. “An average household in Metro Manila can easily spend over 20,000P per year on fuel alone, not to mention the hours of time lost waiting in traffic” he says. According to the survey, 92% of commuters would be comfortable sharing a ride with someone else they met through an app, though only 32% know someone personally who carpools.
Different initiatives to share a ride to work have been tested in Metro Manila in the past but so far, none have really taken off. The biggest challenge with sharing a ride to work is finding matches that fit with everyone’s variable schedules.
While taxi-hailing apps such as Uber have made it easier to find a professional taxi ride, there is not yet an easy solution to share an empty seat with someone who is driving to work in the same direction as you, saving drivers and passengers significant cost.
Wunder, founded in Germany in 2013, has launched carpooling communities across several large cities in Europe, now totaling over 200,000 members. Wunder members can use the app to enter their home and work location, their typical commute times and whether they have a car or not. Passengers schedule when they want to leave for work and the app automatically calculates matches and notifies drivers who have the option to accept or skip the ride request.
Safety is also a top priority and community members themselves have ultimately proven to be the best judges of who they feel comfortable sharing rides with on the way to work: A transparent profile and rating system allows members to provide feedback on their fellow carpoolers.
Drivers take a small detour and passengers help cover the cost of the trip, amounting to approximately 60P for a 15 km trip, or approximately the price of public transportation. Payment will initially be handled with cash between the passenger and the driver but in the future Wunder may introduce an electronic payment option that has been very successful across Europe. Unlike professional drivers who make an income driving others as a service for many hours a day, Wunder carpoolers only recover basic costs such as fuel for rides they are already taking to work and back home.
“As a driver sharing a ride to work and back you could make an extra 2,000P per month, essentially covering the cost of your fuel.” Says Baker “Not to mention solving the traffic problem while meeting nice people from your area!”
Visit the Wunder website to register or download the free app for iOS or Android and start carpooling today.