Sci & Tech

Carpooling in Tehran: Sharing Journeys Becomes a Tad Easier

More than four million vehicles commute on Tehran’s roads, eight times over and above the nominal capacity. Carpooling can and should help assist reduce this number in the capital’s clogged streets and highways
Several carpooling services are operating in Tehran.Several carpooling services are operating in Tehran.
Ride-sharing services have gained traction in recent months with hashtags like #share_a_ride and #no_single_occupant_vehicles in Persian going viral on social media networks like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

A new startup named ‘Ham-Rekab’ (meaning fellow traveler) has been launched that provides ride-sharing services in Tehran through the website

According to the firm’s website, users can register as car owners or passengers. Users are encouraged to upload a profile picture, which adds a personal touch to each account and makes it easier for commuters to choose a fellow traveler.

Using the service is simple and similar to popular carpooling websites in the world. With a few clicks, passengers feed their location and destination on the website’s map and look for vehicles on their route of choice.

Commuters can share the fare through the system. On the website, rides are sorted based on fares for the trip.

Furthermore, users can write comments on each others’ profiles and rank people they have shared a trip with. The website has a special section for female commuters through which they can choose a ‘women-only ride’.

Ham-Rekab is yet to release an application to ease users’ access to the service.

>Not Alone

Ham-Rekab is not the first of its kind to offer ride-sharing services in Tehran. Some of the known names are Mibarim, Carvanro, Hampasho and Rahsepar. The services have gained traction in recent months with hashtags like #share_a_ride and #no_single_occupant_vehicles in Persian going viral on social media networks like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Over time most of these firms have announced perks to attract more users.

Mibarim, Hampasho and Rahsepar have Android and iOS applications available for download on local app markets, Café Bazaar (Android) and SibApp (iOS).

Carvanro has also launched an English website enabling foreigners in Tehran to make use of the services.

Mibarim has introduced “scheduled rides” for workers and office employees traveling between Tehran and Karaj every day. For a monthly fee of 1.8 million rials ($42) Mibarim takes commuters from Karaj 53km west of Tehran to the capital and back six days a week. Making a similar trip six days a week with Tehran-Karaj taxis costs almost 3.4 million rials ($80) per month.

Tehran Municipality estimates that 19 million daily trips are made in the capital on any working day (and night), and more than four million vehicles commute on the city’s clogged roads. In addition to cutting costs for commuters, ride-sharing can relatively reduce the number of vehicles in the capital that is home to 12 million people and has been expanding in all four directions including in the mountains on the northern flank.

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