Ever wondered how much less congested our roads would be if everyone heading from the same area, to the same destination shared cars? It has probably crossed your mind before while you were stuck in the rush hour jam, looking at all the other single occupant cars around. Of course, your own car has just you in it. Also, think of the parking lots freed.

Freeing up space on the road via carpooling has crossed the minds of governments, city planners and Singaporean Terence Zou, who founded Ryde in 2015. The app’s aim is to champion carpooling as a viable transportation option, enabling commuters to save costs, go green, and create a carpooling community.

Described as the number one carpool mobile app in Singapore, Ryde isn’t a copy of Grab where drivers drive diligently to earn a living and compete with taxis for passengers. To me, it sounds more like dating, where your aim is to find a comfortable partner heading in the same direction in life, and strike up a long term, win-win relationship. If it’s good, you become regulars.

Ryde is the matchmaking app, in this case. The RydePool service matches drivers and riders heading on the same route. Riders make a request, and the app matches them to a driver. In Singapore, it’s the two rush hours in a day that sees the highest amount of shared rides.

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Let’s say that we both live in Damansara and our offices in downtown KL are two streets away – we’re a good match. It’s more by the way and “not for money”, because in Singapore, drivers can only make two carpool trips per day. Both advanced and on-demand bookings are available, so that drivers and riders can plan their journeys. Drivers don’t need PSV licenses.

There’s no free ride of course, and riders have to pay their share of costs. RydePool fares are based on a “not-for-profit model” where riders pay the cost contribution of the trip, taking into account the distance travelled, petrol, toll and car depreciation costs. For now, in Malaysia, Ryde is not taking any commission, meaning that drivers will pocket 100% of the fares. In Singapore, the commission is 9%.

“With the increasing levels of vehicular emissions, congestion on roads, and the high cost of owning a car, Ryde is presenting carpooling as an economical and sustainable mode of transport to Malaysians,” said founder Zou, who’s also the CEO.

“Rather than making that daily commute to and from work or school alone in peak hour traffic jams, carpooling provides the opportunity to ride with someone going in the same direction. Not only will this help to ease road congestion, reduce your carbon footprint, and help save on commuting costs, it will also expand your network and the potential to make new friends,” he explained, adding that millennials and university students are generally more open to the sharing economy.

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“Ryde is not just a carpooling app – we are looking to build a community that creates a more conducive carpooling environment for Malaysians. Our aim is to educate the Malaysian community on the benefits of carpooling and create a more sustainable and eco-friendly daily transportation option,” he added.

The app has been downloaded 500,000 times and has facilitated over a million rides since launch in Singapore. There, Ryde has over 25,000 drivers and over 160,000 active riders, Zou says, adding that Malaysia has big potential as our car penetration rate is very high at 93% of households, which is third highest in the world.

The Ryde app now is available for download from the App Store or Google Play, with services set to begin on November 1 in the Klang Valley. Ryde has plans to expand to other cities such JB, Penang and Melaka. This Malaysian move is part of the company’s global expansion plans which includes Sydney by 2020 and later in Hong Kong.

Anyone else remember those “Be Cool, Car Pool” car stickers? OK, I’m old. Daily commuters, would you try this?