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The Ryde app will reduce congestion and carbon footprint, writes Nur Zarina Othman

DO you know that in 2018, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for Malaysia were 257,840 kt (kilotonnes)?

Based on data published by Knoema, an integrated global data platform, Malaysia records high CO2 emissions, with an increase from 113,853.4 kt in 1999 to 257,840 kt in 2018 with an annual average growth rate of 4.62 per cent.

Terence Zou, Chief executive officer of Ryde Technologies speaks at the launch of the Ryde app in Malaysia recently.
Terence Zou, Chief executive officer of Ryde Technologies speaks at the launch of the Ryde app in Malaysia recently.

ADDRESSING THE ISSUE

Looking at the alarming numbers, the government has come up with remedial plans, one of which is to improve Malaysia’s air quality via the public transport plan, which includes ride-sharing cars.

However, these ride-sharing cars mostly pick up single passenger or a group of friends who choose to order a car instead of walking for 10 minutes to a lunch spot, for instance.

This defeat the purpose of lowering the number of vehicles on the road, especially in city centres such as Kuala Lumpur.

The goal is to reduce the number of cars entering the city centre.

Recently, the Kuala Lumpur mayor announced more streets around the city centre would be pedestrian-friendly to reduce the amount of vehicles and reduce carbon emission.

To achieve this, City Hall plans to cordon off several stretches in Bangsar, Bukit Bintang and Brickfields, making these roads off limit to private vehicles. The plan is to turn them into pedestrian-only stretches, like in many cities around the world.

An efficient public transportation system, however, is needed to ensure the success of the initiative, and much is needed to be done to improve the first-mile and last-mile connectivity, which means getting to and from train stations.

Ryde hopes this will solve congestion and improve air quality while at the same time create a more sustainable and eco-friendly transportation option.
Ryde hopes this will solve congestion and improve air quality while at the same time create a more sustainable and eco-friendly transportation option.

SOLUTION

Understanding the needs of cities to address traffic congestion, including Kuala Lumpur, financier Terence Zou found a middle ground solution: a carpool app called Ryde.

“With the increasing level of vehicle emission, congestion and the high cost of owning a car, Ryde aims to be an economical and sustainable way to travel for Malaysians,” says Zou.

Rated as one of the preferred modes of transportation in Singapore, Ryde’s service is now available in the Klang Valley. The company plans to roll out Ryde to Johor, Penang and Melaka.

The app was launched in Singapore in 2015.

“The move is part of the company’s global expansion plans. Ryde hopes this will solve congestion and improve air quality in cities like Sydney, Australia and Hong Kong,” says Zou.

REQUEST-AND-MATCH TECH

Using Ryde’s in-app request-and-matching technology, RydePool (the carpooling with other commuters’ part of the app) matches drivers driving on a route with commuters on the same route, hoping to hitch a ride to their destination.

“Ryde is not just a carpooling app. We are also looking at building a community that creates a more conducive carpooling environment for Malaysians. Our aim is to educate Malaysians on the benefits of carpooling and create a more sustainable and eco-friendly transportation option,” says Zou.

The Ryde app.
The Ryde app.

Ryde offers registered drivers a zero commission fares, meaning that they can pocket 100 per cent of their fares to offset their driving expenses.

“Rather than making that daily commute to and from work or school alone in peak hour traffic jams, carpooling provides an opportunity to ride with someone travelling in the same direction.”

“This will not only ease congestion, reduce carbon footprint and save commuting costs, but also expand the users’ network and ability to make new friends.”

For drivers to register as Ryde drivers, they need to provide proof of valid identification card, have a working contact number, driving licence and upload profile photo on the app as well as car registration details with photo.

“The details will then be approved by the system. This is to ensure the safety of Ryde’s riders and drivers,” says Zou.

“Drivers and riders are rated by their ratings and cancellation rate and if their cancellation rate goes above 20 per cent, they may face an automatic suspension,” he adds.

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