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Spotlight interview: Faxi’s marketing chief chats to TotalJobs

Alexian Chiavegato, Marketing Director of Faxi, was interviewed by TotalJobs on why carpooling is the future for the daily commute. Here’s the lowdown:

Why Faxi is different to other carpooling apps?
Faxi is really a simple way to help people commute in a smarter way. The app enables people to find colleagues in closed groups who they can share their commute with, allowing them to potentially save up to thousands of pounds per year on commuting costs.

Our technology is quite clever, because the app records each individual journey, allowing employees to receive incentives from their employers such as free reserved car parking spaces for those who carpool to work. Imagine turning up to work each day with a reserved car parking space - it’s many commuters’ dream come true!

One of our users said he will be saving up to £2,000 a year in parking costs and as a result of sharing the cost of his daily commute with two new people; pretty impressive cost savings.

Faxi also enables employees to expense journeys that require reimbursement, because proof that the journey has taken place can be supplied.


How does it work?
We love to develop features that are relevant for employers while fitting with the lifestyle of our users. The app is simple to use - once downloaded, users can either join a closed group (public or private) or create their own, they can choose and swap the mode of transportation (walking, cycling, public transport and more).

A lot of our users also use Faxi as a journey planner. It is the reason why very soon, Faxi users will benefit from a powerful journey planner with incredible new features. For instance, we will be able to list the price of fuel in any petrol stations along the user’s route. The app also offers a one-touch payment system for passenger to driver contributions to be made quickly and efficiently.


What are the environmental benefits of carpooling to work?
There are many obvious benefits for a greener commute - carpooling is a great option as it covers many of them! The first one and obvious benefit is to have less running cars on the road, and naturally, this will reduce the volume of CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere. Another benefit is that with less cars on the road, there is a reduction in localised traffic congestion and an increased availability of parking spaces, and therefore drivers will spend less time running their cars. If an individual's commute is quicker and puts less stress on the car engine, then there will be a decrease in petrol consumption and a resulting reduction in CO2 emissions. If everyone did this, the environmental benefits would be massive!

We strongly believe at Faxi that the future of smart commuting is going to be totally different to what we see today. In a few years, we will start to see driverless cars on the road to make our commute easier. This, in its own right, will change the perception we all have of owning a vehicle. Our grandchildren will probably laugh at the idea that we all each owned a car and were going to work alone in this five-seater car. A recent study estimated that 30% of cars on commuter routes are looking for parking spaces. Imagine if one out of three cars were to be removed from the road - it would make a huge difference.

Until driverless vehicles become mainstream, which will be many years before a culture change takes place and this becomes the norm, then Faxi is the perfect solution to help people to adapt to the idea of reducing single occupancy cars on the roads. Plus, it works!


What other benefits are there to carpooling for employees? E.g. saving money, socialising, etc.
It will definitely help people to save money on their commute! One of our users reported that he is estimated to save £2000 a year - which is the equivalent to an extra month’s salary for the average UK worker - because he now shares the cost of his daily commute with two other passengers.(Read the full interview here). In many cases, employees also benefit from free parking at organisations which have adopted Faxi, and as parking is generally so expensive these days, it can make a huge difference to people’s daily costs.

The second major advantage is a reduction in personal stress. Due to a smoother commute and priority reserved car parking for those companies who have adopted Faxi, many employees are finding that they do not need to arrive at work an hour (or more!) early in order to obtain a car parking space. This enables them more free time at home and in many cases, free parking which alleviates personal financial pressures and time constraints.
In turn, companies also benefit from this by getting higher productivity from their employees and reduced absenteeism. Other benefits are socialising opportunities with coworkers - one of our users has reported that she has established a new mentor figure with her driver. When we started, we never thought Faxi would have a such impact on people's lives in this way.


What tips can you give to employees who are keen to carpool to work but do not know where to start?
Traditionally, sharing with strangers is daunting, but because Faxi offers a closed group service, it means that users won't be sharing with people completely unknown to them. When an employee joins a closed group set up by an organisation, they can only be seen by others who are also subscribed to that group - so it could be someone in a different department at work, for example. Many organisations will also run Faxi sessions where users can get to know their potential car share partners face to face before embarking on a carpooling arrangement. We also provide one-to-one on-boarding sessions to help people match with colleagues for future carpooling arrangements.

To start, it’s really quite simple. Firstly download the app and either register a group, or send a link to the HR or facilities manager within your organisation to let them know what it’s all about. It’s probably best to put them in touch with us so we can provide a demo.

Secondly, it's a good idea to start spreading the word with other colleagues so other people are made aware of the benefits of carpooling and that a smarter, more sustainable commute is available to them. Sharing is caring!

Let your employer know about Faxi carpooling schemes.