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Gender not a main concern when carpooling: Survey

SINGAPORE — A survey on carpooling conducted by carpooling mobile app, RYDE, has shown that gender is not a key factor of consideration when drivers and riders make carpooling decisions.

Founder and chief executive of RYDE, Mr Terence Zou. TODAY photo: Koh Mui Fong.

Founder and chief executive of RYDE, Mr Terence Zou. TODAY photo: Koh Mui Fong.

SINGAPORE — A survey on carpooling conducted by carpooling mobile app, RYDE, has shown that gender was not a key factor of consideration when drivers and riders made carpooling decisions. 

In a survey of around 1,000 RYDE users, only 4 per cent of the drivers and 7 per cent of the riders chose gender as their main concern when carpooling among other options such as money and safety.

About seven of the 10 surveyed RYDE users were men.

Founder and chief executive of RYDE, Mr Terence Zou said that Singaporeans are “not as conservative as we thought, and females are open to the idea of carpooling”.

Females account for 45 per cent of RYDE’s riders, and males account for 90.8 per cent of the app’s drivers, according to the company. Demand for carpool rides are the highest at 6pm.

The online survey was conducted over the last two weeks, involving 1,000 respondents. Majority of the survey respondents – 77 per cent of drivers and 63 per cent of riders – have also indicated that the government should encourage carpooling in a bid to move towards a “car-lite” city, with taking the trains being the second most popular choice.

During the launch event of the third version of the app this morning (Jan 15), it was also announced that the mobile app’s network has reached 20,000 members. With a strong demand for carpooling, RYDE’s network is projected to exceed 50,000 members by mid-2016.

Mr Zou said that there were more than 600,000 private cars on the road, which accounts for up to 28.2 per cent of daily passenger trips in Singapore. Carpooling aims to help both riders and drivers save transportation costs and establish social networks, he said.

In addition, it helps to reduce the number of cars on the road.

RYDE aims to tackle two key challenges of carpooling, which are poor exchange of information and mutual trust. In its third version, the mobile app has enhanced features to allow both drivers and riders to know each other through ratings and profile identification. The price of each ride will also be calculated by the mobile app itself, and drivers will be able to choose their riders according to a variety of factors such as gender, nearest time, price, and proximity.

Mr 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.”

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