Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the odd-even plan will be enforced in the capital from 4 to 15 November. As introduced for the first time in January 2016, the temporary traffic rule enables private vehicles with license plates ending in odd and even numbers to function on alternative days. Delhi Government will be implementing this temporary (odd-even) scheme for the third time to monitor air pollution in the capital.
Residents have begun optimizing their commuting hacks for the odd-even rule. Commuting pundits believe that carpooling can provide relief to daily commuters and can be the best hack to continue easy movement among daily commuters. Can carpooling help with the odd-even rule? Let’s find out.
Originally implemented in Beijing in 2008, Delhi is the only city in India to have the odd-even system. A few other nations like Paris, Mexico and Bogota have used the odd-even system to control pollution levels. New Delhi is rated as one of the world’s worst polluted cities. This is no surprise. Studies have counted car and industrial emissions, construction dust and smoke from the combustion of waste and crops in neighboring states as major reasons responsible for increasing pollution in the city.
Under CPCB’s graded response action plan, the odd-even system for private vehicles is implemented when pollution levels are in the “severe-plus” category for 48 hours or longer. Winters in Delhi is the worst time as the air is severely infiltrated with pollutants. To understand if carpooling can help with commuting during the odd-even formula, we need to first inspect the issue at the grassroots level. Which brings us to this!
Why Pollution is worst in Delhi during the Winters?
According to a recent report, Delhi adds no more than 36% to its fine-particulate (PM 2.5) emissions during winter, with 64% coming from sources outside the National Capital Region. PM 2.5 is the pollutant of biggest public health concern responsible for severe illness such as lung cancer, asthma, and a number of other health issues. In Delhi winters, PM 2.5 levels surpass 200 milligrams per square meter (mg / m2) leading to status ranging from ‘ Very Poor’ to ‘Severe Status’ on the Air Quality Index.
So, why is PM so high in winter?
- Crop residue burning in neighboring states and vehicular pollution are top reasons for air pollution.
- More biomass is burned during winters further adding to the already worst smog.
- One study estimates that brick kilns contribute to 15 percent of the PM 2.5 affecting Delhi.
- Cool air stagnates closer to the ground during the winter months, keeping pollution within the breathable range.
- Extensive use of firecrackers (Diwali)
How did the Odd-Even Rule impact Delhi in 2016?
10,058 vehicles were charged in the first stage of the odd-even rule in 2016 and 8,988 vehicles in the second stage. With regard to pollution, there was only a small decrease in the PM 2.5 concentrations during the first stage of odd-even in 2016. The impact was confirmed as per research released in the journal Environmental Science and Policy.
According to a report published by The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri), when implemented in the city from 1 to 15 January 2016, the odd-even rule succeeded in achieving the primary objective of reducing air pollution, though in a limited manner. The second batch of the odd-even system, however, could not get desirable results in reducing pollution in Delhi NCR.
How Carpool and Bike Pool can help you navigate during the Odd-Even rule?
What causes congestion? Too many vehicles on highways with too few people and too many vacant seats is what causes congestion. The creation of the odd-even rule and the easy accessibility of technology-driven-app-based carpool platforms have brought carpooling to the mainstream. The Delhi government has suggested carpooling as one of the alternatives that individuals can benefit from during and beyond the odd-even rule. App-based carpool and bike pool platforms such as Quick Ride have joined masses in and around the capital city to make carpool and bike pool preferred commute options.
For a long time, informal carpools were in service. People working in the same office or sharing workspaces in the same vicinity and living in close neighborhoods initiated informal ride-sharing, hence, carpool.
Let’s take a closer look at why do people (Delhi) carpool? The top reasons can be clubbed into three main reasons.
- A scheduled journey, say from Delhi to Jaipur, Meerut or Dehardun
- A scheduled commute-a journey inside the town or daily office commute
- An on-demand or unplanned journey inside the town.
Rideshare alternatives are applicable and workable via app-based platforms for all three kinds of commuting. Quick Ride, India’s biggest and most trusted carpool and bike pool platform have recorded over 24 million rides shared in India. Are you looking to get started with a carpool and bike pool, here is how you can start carpooling?
Quick Ride and HCL have together set a benchmark on how corporations can promote green living by supporting carpool in their campuses and tech parks.
What additional efforts can be done to promote Carpool during Odd-Even Rule?
Apart from private carpool companies and service providers, two significant stakeholders -government agencies and office goers can play a crucial part in carpool promotion. The govt should create a carpool promotion strategy establishing ground rules for business carpools and avoiding regulatory hurdles. Employers, on the other side, should be urged to encourage carpools among their employees. Candor Tech Park has agreed to do a 2-year carpool engagement with Quick Ride for both their tech parks in Delhi and Noida.
Very few businesses including tech parks have sufficient parking spaces for their staff. For those sharing vehicles, special parking spaces should be allocated to make room for more people to adopt carpools as their preferred commute option. In Noida and Gurgaon, IT businesses can come together to encourage carpools among staff from various organizations in the same hubs.
The odd-even rule in Delhi has given all of us an opportunity to rethink urban mobility. The multiple efforts being taken by the government in itself suggest that we are in dire need to explore multiple alternatives for decongesting and reducing air pollution in our towns, regardless of its shortcomings or its ultimate result.
Quick Ride, India’s most trusted carpool platform has more than 50,000 users carpooling daily in Delhi. With an impressive number of ride givers, you will certainly get an instant ride for the destination of your choice in the Delhi NCR region. With almost 9000 cars offering seats through Quick Ride, your daily commute can remain unaffected during odd-even rule in Delhi by carpooling with Quick Ride. What are you waiting for? Download the Quick Ride app NOW.
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