Bogota: Car sharing in Colombia is becoming easier with an app created by the Fuimonos company that can be used on computers and smart phones, helping offer and hire rides around Bogota.
"Fuimonos is a Colombian enterprise, the result of the fusion of three companies working toward the same goal: lead people to share their car rides in this country," the project's founder, Diego Garzon, told Colombia.inn, a news agency operated by Spain Efe.
Most people using the app work in the same company or are students seeking to share rides to lower their transportation costs, Garzon said.
In just one month, some 1,400 commuters got rides after exchanging about 13,000 messages through the application, Garzon said.
Usage has also increased the average car occupancy by a factor of three, which, Garzon said, in Bogota is 1.5 people per car and this "is saving time for people going to their jobs".
To benefit from the Fuimonos app, users log in on the website and check whether they are employees or students from any of the companies or colleges the system recognises.
The next step is the creation of an institutional e-mail address to validate the information, a user name and a password for future log ins.
Drivers using the app may choose whether they will charge or not for their services, and they may provide details about their itinerary, so potential passengers will have additional information on the route.
Fuimonos is the result of Garzon's efforts along with other Bogota entrepreneurs who had developed similar applications but needed to improve the concept.
"We decided to fuse our initiatives since we had the same goal, but each had a different piece of the puzzle," he said, adding that the alliance "was able to execute the concept well".
Fuimonos' business model sells a Comprehensive Carpool Plan to companies within a strategy that includes communications, safety, rewards and incentives for employees who share rides.
These offers will save money for employers since they will not have to spend resources building or paying for parking or subsidising their employees' commute.
Fuimonos' leaders expect to have some 200,000 subscribers in Bogota by next year and to expand their operations to other cities in Colombia and Latin America, starting with ongoing talks to debut in Peru.