A free car sharing app “designed by locals for locals” is being launched this week in a bid to reduce commuting traffic, and improve Jersey's air quality.
Xavier Rouxel first got the idea for the Triskel Ride App after going to France for a music festival and using BlaBlaCar, a carpooling service.
With 30,000 local commuters going to work alone or with a passenger in private cars every day, Xavier thought a similar system would work perfectly in Jersey and help relieve some of the traffic.
Having never developed an app – he manages Boatfayre Ltd as a day job – Xavier went to Jersey Business and was put in touch with local developer Fred Mayer of Cydisys. The pair also worked with Adapt Design for the graphics of the app.
Car drivers and passengers will both be able to post on the free app, which is already available on the Apple App Store and will be launched on Google Play this week, about the ride they are either offering or looking for, with the date, time and destination of their journey. The adverts will then be available for all users to see and book.
In accordance with Jersey law, drivers will be prevented from making a profit out of their journeys. They will be able, however, to recover their costs at 60p per mile. This also aims to ensure that passengers pay a capped amount, which will remain low and prevents the app from being used as an illegal taxi service.
Users will be able to prove their identity and credentials by loging in via YOTI. This, Xavier said, will guarantee more transparency and comfort to the app users, while preventing fake profiles from being created.
While using YOTI will not be compulsory, those who do not use the option will not appear as ‘verified’ on the app.
Pictured: Drivers will get 60p per mile to cover their costs.
In addition, to give more comfort to female drivers and female passengers who wish to travel exclusively with other women, a ‘Ladies only’ option will be available.
The developers have also taken into account the pandemic, including a set of recommendations for drivers and passengers as well as a 'covid-19 disclaimer' which appears as soon as a user signs up to the app.
Other options in the app include a ‘Commuter Repeat’ option to allow users commuting to work to book their seats onboard for the whole week and avoid creating the same booking over and over.
To encourage people to use the app frequently, Triskel also includes a Level-Points collection system, which will give access to rewards offered by Triskel’s supporting businesses. Xavier is looking for more businesses to come on board to grow the number of rewards available.
The points will be calculated in accordance with the type of car used and the number of passengers onboard - the more 'eco-responsible' the car is, the more points will be collected.
Pictured: Users will be able to earn points and support local charities through the app.
An Eco-Points collection system will also be available, giving users the ability to put part of their revenue (for drivers) or expenses (for passengers) towards supporting Triskel’s chosen charity, Jersey Trees for Life.
Xavier spent over a year-and-a-half thinking and developing the app and is excited to see it launch, after it was delayed by the pandemic.
For him, there are only benefits to using the app as it will help reduce the number of cars on the road, improve the air quality and save the Government’s money on road maintenance.
“Its aim is to make Jersey roads greener by encouraging people to share cars to work, rather than commute alone,” he said.
“Greenhouse gases are damaging to the environment, private vehicles’ wear and tear as well as town parking is costly to commuters and traffic is not moving at peak times, something needed doing!
“It is now urgent the people of Jersey unite to work towards the same objective and reduce greenhouse gases emissions. We can do this together by connecting the members of our community who share the same environment values as us and convert those who don't!”
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