Wyndham Vale husband-and-wife Mayank and Shubha Shukla have created an app which puts a modern spin on carpooling.
Their app, Joinwheels, has been recognised for its innovation after being named a joint winner of the Resilient Melbourne Citymart Challenge.
Initiated by Melbourne council and other councils, the challenge invited people to explore ways to ease transport congestion and social disconnection.
Mr and Ms Shukla, who both have a background in computers and technology, said their free app was designed to be non-commercial.
“We tried to come up with a painless and user-friendly way of sharing carpooling,” Ms Shukla said.
Mr Shukla said the app connected people travelling to the same place, or nearby to each other.
“So far Joinwheels has around 150 users across Australia,” he said.
Joinwheels allows users to pick if they would like to offer, or find, a free or a shared-cost car trip, with a fixed cost per kilometre and pick-up fee. People can post their ride requests for all app users to see, or choose to have a private group – such as their colleagues – see the listing.
The app’s other features include showing nearby Joinwheels customers and displaying how many carbon emissions individual users save through carpooling.
The app also allows users to set their ride-sharing preferences – such as what music they like, whether they want a non-smoking driving companion or prefer a ladies-only trip.
If someone cancels on sharing a ride, users can also post a review and rating of them.
Mr Shukla said he and his wife hoped Joinwheels would help to address the problem of commuters who struggled to find a car park at Wyndham’s train stations on weekday mornings, by connecting train travellers with each other to ride-share.
See joinwheels.com.au or download the app for details