With a large commuting population, many people in Uganda rely on the public means to get to work. Access to car parking is also a major problem in the working towns; a problem that Safarishare team were keen to solve.
Design an android app for car sharing which is powered by real-time data & availability. If a user (ride seeker) needs to get somewhere e.g. commuting to work, why not get a ride from someone who is traveling in the same direction, share costs, get a comfortable ride and be faster compared to buses or metro. On the other side — the app should enable the user (driver) to get co-riders who are traveling on a common route.
The app could work globally and provide the only locality based search results of ride seekers and drivers.
A search engine that would allow people to search for empty seats in cars in the same way travellers can search for seats on a bus or taxi. Uganda is a price sensitive market and given the population density in major Ugandan cities it’s not difficult to match riders while pooling.
From here, our working model was pretty simple. People with spare seats in their car can use the app to advertise their journey and the cost per seat. Drivers are not allowed to make a profit but can charge passengers an amount to help cover their costs.
People looking for a ride can then use the app to find drivers making the same journey and book and pay for the seat. Then the passenger simply meets the driver at the pre-arranged spot and they share the journey. The benefits are simple drivers offset some of the cost of their journey while passengers gain transport that they might not otherwise have been able to afford.
How can we build Trust?
Creating a community of trust is also important for Safarishare. As people are naturally hesitant about sharing car space with a stranger, it was important for the brand to address and overcome these concerns head on.
Each member creates a profile and all profiles, photos, ratings and rides are moderated by app. It’s also easy to view the wider social profiles of members by looking at how many Facebook friends or LinkedIn connections a member has.
After using the service, drivers and passengers can rate one another to further boost trust within the community and give future users more information about who they are travelling with. A secure messaging service means drivers and passengers can chat before sharing a ride to find out more about one another and to arrange practical details about the journey.
By having more people using one vehicle, Safarishare is helping reduce each person’s travel costs such as: fuel costs, tolls, and the stress of driving.
The app is also a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way to travel as sharing journeys reduces air pollution, carbon emissions, traffic congestion on the roads, and the need for parking spaces.
Car sharing is a good way to use up the full seating capacity of a car, which would otherwise remain unused if it were just the driver using the car.