Exclusive: Tripda App Review Part 1
Tripda is a marketplace that connects people who need a ride to drivers who have empty seats in their cars. This enables people to meet new people and save money by sharing their travel costs, ultimately helping people to travel more while spending less! With fewer cars on the roads, we help not only people, but also the environment, as fewer cars means less carbon-emissions released into our atmosphere. The Tripda Ride is the smart way to roll, for your budget and the planet.”
Tripda is a free car pooling service that is available in Malaysia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, America and Uruguay. It helps you connect with other users that are offering rides or looking for rides to the same exact location you’re headed to. It’s like having an extra friend accompany you on a short journey you’re making. We were invited to write a review on the mobile app and this is part 1 of our review! For today, we’ll be focusing on the consumer standpoint when a user wants to offer a ride. Note, that there are two sides to Tripda – you can either offer a ride to other users or you can search for ride, hence becoming a passenger.
First off, you’ll need to sign up for an account which is the usual process in any app. You can either register as a new user or opt to sign in using your Facebook account. I would suggest doing the latter, as it widens your scope of friends. You can later on, see if any your friends on Facebook are using the app. Also, you’ll be able to visit the Facebook profiles of people offering rides that you’ve never met before. This would be a good precautionary step before opting to get into the car with a person you don’t know. Keep in mind that the email that will be registered on Tripda will be the one you used to register for Facebook if you choose to sign in with your Social Media account.
Moving on, the app overall has a very simplistic design and layout. It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out. The first page you’ll see once the app is launched is the Find a Ride page. Here, you’ll be able to search for rides by keying in date as well as to and fro destinations. We’ll focus on the finding a ride part of the app in our second review.
Before we go into how you offer a ride, let us brief you on the layout and functions. On the left side of the app, you’ll be able to see the profile panel. You can check notifications and messages received from other users to you via this panel by just clicking on the icon. You can also navigate to the finding a ride option or offering a ride option as well. On the bottom, you can click on ‘My Trips’ that will allow you review the trips you have made as a passenger (when you find a ride) and as a driver (when you offer a ride). If you click on the profile option, you can enter your Tripda profile. Here you get to see your details such as name, age, date joined and last active as well as other info. The interesting part, if you see the second image above, is the middle row of pictures, you can change your preferences to show whether you like chatting in the car, if you like certain types of music, if you allow pets, smoking or food in your car. Red indicates you prefer not to do any, yellow means you’re neutral and green shows you’re good to go with it.
Now, to the important part of the review: offering a ride. You offer a ride by keying in your start point by either using GPS to locate where you are or just typing in your preferred address. Then, you key in your destination by typing in where you are headed. You can key in the cities included in your route but this is not compulsory. As a driver, you can put the options of whether you’re making a round trip to and fro or whether it is only a one way trip. Keep in mind, if you do turn the round trip option on, you’re basically telling your potential passenger that you’re offering a ride to and back. Obviously, the next part is to enter in the date and time you’ll be leaving and returning from the destination.
Click next on the bottom page and your next step is how much you’d like to charge. Unfortunately, the app only allows you to charge up to MYR 3 per passenger no matter if its a return trip or one way. So, even if you’re driving all the way to another state, you can only get a maximum of MYR 3 which is a little frustrating looking at price of petrol in Malaysia right now. This was when I used the Tripda app. When I used the website however, I found that some users were offering up to MYR 20! I couldn’t figure out how they managed to charge so much. I change location and so on but it kept putting a maximum of MYR 3 when I tried to offer a ride. Do let me know if you could charge more!
Anyway, you then need to describe the car you have. I tend to be a little vague in my description by just stating the manufacturer and model. It’s a little overwhelming and intimidating to be putting all the details of your car for the public to see. You can list the color of your car and so on. At this point, the Tripda app crashed about five times on me. I didn’t have to delete and re-install it but it was frustrating to be kicked out continuously. After you’ve entered your car, you can choose how many seats are available. I’m assuming this is according to the car you have. If it’s an MPV, you’d be able to offer more seats. You get to then, type in your meeting point and even the amount of luggage you’re allowing your passenger to bring with him. It even allows you to enter in a time tolerance which basically means how long you’re willing to wait for the passenger. On top of that, you get to choose whether you’re allowing a detour during the trip.
The last part is either you would prefer ladies only as passengers and whether you’re accepting passengers automatically. If you turn this on, you can’t reject a passenger once he’s accepted your offer for a ride. If you keep it off, you get to vet through people. Once your ride is accepted, you will be notified. Finally, click on ‘publish’ and wait for someone to come along and accept your ride. Tripda is a very cool idea but you have to wonder, how safe is it? As a woman driver, I was terrified to even think of picking up a stranger whether it be a girl or guy. I had to get my friend to be the one accepting the ride that I was offering for this review.
First and foremost, I understand that there are ways to ensure a little security – one, check the Facebook profile of the person accepting the ride. Two, do not automatically accept passengers and three, I could turn the ‘ladies only’ option on (but when you think about it, in this day and age, even women are dangerous!). The app is simple to use but I am not really sure how many people would be keen with the idea of carpooling with strangers you’ve never even seen in your life. I would think if it was just with friends you have via Facebook, real life or other personal platforms, by all means, it’s a success. But other than that, there isn’t that solid of a way to actually ensure security. The Tripda websites says you can ensure security through user ratings on the profile page, Facebook, mobile and email verification. What I opted for was either just to keep it within my friends and family or have another friend be with me in the car during the trip when the Tripda passenger was in the car. Also, as a consumer, I would keep to just making it short trips instead of long distance journeys. This is to just build confidence and once again, being safe. And please, don’t put your house address as the meet up point or location you’re starting the trip from.
Other than the safety concern, Tripda could actually make it a more fun and exciting way to travel. Nobody likes to travel alone really so it’s an interesting way to actually make friends. Before going on the trip, you could talk to the passenger or driver via Facebook first and get to know them so that way it isn’t as awkward when you get to meet them face to face. I would rate this app and service a 3 out of 5. Like I said, it’s a very nice app to use when planning trips or meeting new people or even making a couple of dollars. But the fact that it crashed annoyed me quite a bit and the safety issue is a huge concern for me. But a big plus though, was that I could change the country I was in via the website so I can access the carpooling rides in other countries if I was there. That would make it extremely useful if I was backpacking in the other countries.
Tripda also has a website that mirrors what you see when you use the app! Click on the source link below to visit it.
Have you used the app and its services before? Do let us know about your consumer experience if you have. And stay tuned for the second part of the review where we tell you about our experience when we hitched a ride instead of offering one! Did this review help you and do let us know if you would like us to review any other app or gadget!
RATING: 3 OUT OF 5