15 January 2016

RYDE Technologies makes carpooling easier

Screen capture of the RYDE app.
Source: RYDE.
RYDE Technologies, the company behind the Singapore carpooling mobile app, has provided an update of its successes so far at the launch of version 3 of its RYDE app. Founded by Harvard Business School graduate Terence Zou, the RYDE app connects drivers to riders travelling a similar route and gives people access to a car without having to own one.

Zou, CEO of RYDE Technologies, says: “Our approach has been to solve the two key challenges of carpooling methodically - poor information exchange and a lack of mutual trust.”

The RYDE app has a real-time capability that displays the most relevant requests for the user. To tackle the trust issue, RYDE focuses on member verification through the submission of photo IDs. Furthermore, there is community self-policing as members review each other after every trip. Any member with average rating below 4 stars will be suspended for a month.

Zou said, "We are the number one carpooling app in Singapore and our focus is on the social aspects of carpooling. We are not a taxi company and we do not collect money on our platform. Riders pay drivers directly to split the costs. Our drivers could offer their rides for free if they wanted to - we do not take a cut from them. Members only need to pay an annual subscription fee to join the network. We believe that our simple model works well for both drivers and riders.”

Many commuters turn to RYDE during public transport disruptions, Zou said. When a power fault on the North-South train line on November 25th last year left approximately 70,000 commuters stranded, RYDE’s requests increased eight times.
“Last month, we successfully matched thousands of people on our network. Data from LTA shows that in Singapore, about 11 million passenger trips are made daily - these include those by buses, trains, taxis and cars. Private cars make up 30% of those trips and the average occupancy is only 1.7. There are 600,000 private cars in Singapore that could be mobilised to provide an innovative yet sustainable solution to help solve our problems - we are only just beginning,” Zou said.

RYDE is using data analytics for the competitive edge. "We analyse our data and identify patterns to help us make better business decisions. For example, we know that the average distance carpooled was 14.6 km in 2015. We also know where the request hotspots are: during peak periods in the mornings between 8am to 9am and in the evenings between 6pm to 7pm," Zou said.

RYDE has also found out why people carpool. The company surveyed 1,000 people about their primary motivations for carpooling. The research revealed that more than half of the riders and drivers carpool to save some costs while a significant proportion cited meeting new people as the primary reason.

RYDE’s network has reached 20,000 members, growing 100% in just two months. The company estimates that its network will exceed 50,000 members by mid-2016.


The app is available on iOS through the App Store and on Android in the Google Play Store

Read the WorkSmart Asia blog post on RYDE's soft launch