‘I need my space’ is perhaps the newest slogan of urban India. In the past decade or so, the metros have seen an increased growth in nuclear families, the joint family system is a thing of the past, there are fewer meaningful social interactions – many of these changes can be are attributed to the growing need for personal space. Ironically enough, India may be the most depressed country in the world fighting a micro and a macro identity crisis, looking for someone to talk to – yet it is also turning (in urban cities) into a society that is building taller walls than ever.
Let alone share their homes with their families; people do not even want to share a car ride with someone. So the big question now is – isn’t this deeply personal choice also negatively impacting the larger picture and harming the planet?
When we asked people why they don’t use the option of car-pooling or car renting, the answers totally added up to the personal space theory.
The top five responses we received were:
“ No way! I don’t know who I will be sharing the cab with?
“How do I know it’s safe?”
“I do my work calls and private calls when I am commuting.”
“I don’t like waiting for anyone or having anyone wait.”
“It’s too much effort to make small talk.”
Urban India must understand that a little bit of adjusting by using innovative public transportation solutions and mobility as a service can go a long way. As more and more private cars go off the road and cars and shuttle services take their place – people will also benefit from a better lifestyle.
The interesting part is that most Indians are not even aware of the existing options and the choices that will soon be available. Mobility services, such as car sharing, rentals and carpooling, are showing great promise. One way of reducing this mental block is to list down the options and enlighten the population. Just the way India has opened up to being connected to their family, friends, friends of friends and even strangers via the internet and social media – which in itself is a shared space, and also share a public wi-fi. We hope that soon new India will be open to using vehicles on the road too, as a connected device, turning it into a collaborative trend.
Here are a few ways of using transport judiciously and innovatively and also contributing to the environment:
One way flexible car sharing:You could rent a car of your choice for a specific number of kilometres or a specific period of time? For instance, chores in the market – 2km. Quick blind date – 1 hour.
One way fixed car sharing:You could use the option of renting a car one way whenever you wish, to be dropped off to a specific place. For instance, you could get dropped off to your co-working space, one way, and come back everyday with the colleague who lives in your neighbourhood.
Round trip car sharing: You could exercise the option of renting the car for a round trip. To and from work. Or even, to and fro from a swimming class.
Peer to peer car sharing:You could call up the new neighbour and share the car with them. And also enjoy the benefit of deciding the fee. Sometimes, in cash. And sometimes, as a lovely meal at their home or your house.
Ready to take your pick, already?