KAMPAR, March 9 – Carpool has become a popular option among UTAR students.
On February 23, UTAR carpool transportation network announced that they are developing a new integrated mobile app and the app is expected to launch in April. But… wait, don’t we have the carpooling network already? What happened to it?
UTAR carpool transportation system was created by a former UTAR staff, Hoor Yin Haw. According to Hoor, when the system was first launched on 2016, the drivers were able to connect to passengers by posting their schedules on a Facebook group.
The passengers can also state the time and venue for when they need transport and provide their contact number so that the driver can reach them.
After that, the Facebook-based driver schedule was replaced by the google form-based booking system.
“The system runs on Google Sheet in which the system is automated. The maintenance of the data is done by me as well as the existing carpool drivers, which are mainly UTAR students,” Hoor said.
Hoor also confirmed that a new mobile app for passengers and drivers are expected to launch in April as the number of bookings has increased tremendously.
They reached the highest booking volume which is 12,000 bookings for May 2017 semester and received more than 5,000 bookings within the first four weeks of the semester.
They are currently testing the mobile application so that the system can be managed in a better way.
A 21-year-old UTAR student, who preferred to be called Lim said she is skeptical about the safety measures of the system because she read a lot of stories abouy drivers and passengers meeting their significant other during carpooling to the UTAR campus.
She further explained that she is worried that people might use this mobile application as a dating app to find love instead.
“This is not a problem at all. This is neither a dating app nor a love matching app. We can’t hinder human relationship including both passengers and drivers from developing during the carpooling process,” Hoor said.
Hoor further added that they don’t consider this issue as a factor that will affect the efficiency and reliability of the project as it very rarely happens.
Instead, he believes that it will actually encourages more drivers to fetch passengers in order to make more friends.
When asked whether they considered working with The Student Representative Council (SRC) after some complaints were made against the system, Hoor stated that they were interested to work with SRC.
However, after several attempts of collaborations were turned down by the university management due to unstated reasons, they will not work with the SRC at this moment. However, the SRC has expressed their support towards this system.
Our journalist has compiled the development of UTAR carpool transportation network in an interactive timeline: