New app launched for carpooling


Carpooling for college students can now be coordinated through a new app called Wheeli.

Jean-Pierre Adechi created Wheeli as a safe and efficient way for college students to carpool. It  is an online service that is only accessible with a college email address.

Wheeli allows the student driver or rider to choose who they carpool with based on profile information of other college students. When looking for a ride, students specify their current location, destination and with whom they want to ride.

Wheeli calculates the cost of the trip and makes an electronic payment to avoid students having to ask for money in person.

For safety, Wheeli requires there to be a minimum of two passengers, which allows students to choose who they ride with, and gives female students the option of riding only with other females.

Adechi launched Wheeli last September at Hofstra University and Wesleyan University. He is now working in collaboration with UVM first-year Dylan Philbrick to bring the service to UVM and UMass Amherst this semester.

“I got involved because of a family friend who started working for Jean Pierre. I wanted to work with them because they target issues that affect me and other students,” said Philbrick.

Inspiration for Wheeli comes from Adechi’s time spent hitchhiking in Europe using a similar website.

Along with Wheeli bringing students a fun experience and the freedom to leave campus, it also encourages a more efficient travel system that is environmentally, socially and financially friendly, he said.

“In today’s times, we need apps like this so we can mitigate our carbon emissions. I understand some people may be concerned about safety, but realistically it’s safer than a random ride on Uber because everyone involved is similarly minded,” sophomore Nkandu Yumbe said.

Although sophomore Lucy Curell does not believe she would use the app, she said it’s a good business and she likes the idea.

The Wheeli website is available to students now, and though the app has not officially launched yet, Adechi hopes students will be able to share ride once it is.