Interview of Melisa, founding member of Easy As Carpooling

Melisa is one of the four founding members of Easy As Carpooling. She holds the position of Media Production Manager.

Melisa founding member of Easy As Carpooling

Living in Auckland and having to deal with the worsening congestion further convinced us that a carpooling service would be a good fit in this country.

What’s your story

I am Mélisa Cohen, originally from France and now a happy permanent resident of New Zealand. I am a professionally trained documentary maker and video editor of both short and long content formats.

What’s your connection to NZ

My love story with New Zealand began in 2003.

My partner and I travelled all over New Zealand in an old second-hand van we bought from a friendly Kiwi’s backyard.

One year on the road, 365 days of constant discovery and amazement.

Between 2003 and 2015, we flew back to New Zealand 7 times. No other country we would rather vacation in. Cut to 2016, we made the bold decision to uproot our lives in France and to relocate to Auckland, New Zealand. We are grateful to be given the opportunity to realize our dream of living in this incredible country we now call home.

Why Easy As Carpooling

Transportation in many parts of New Zealand can be scanty.

During our one-year road trip, we came across many fellow backpackers who were struggling to get around the country. Back in Europe, carpooling is a familiar concept and is considered to be a desirable option that compliments public transport.

Living in Auckland and having to deal with the worsening congestion further convinced us that a carpooling service would be a good fit in this country.

Together with two of our friends, both French nationals who have migrated to New Zealand, we pooled together our resources and created a carpooling platform.

Your position in the company

Easy As Carpooling is founded by 4 partners.
We bring with us a specialty skill. Given my background in media production, I am responsible for PR releases and content creation.

Did you experience carpooling before ? if yes, where?

I travel with carpooling more than I do with any other mode of transport.

While living in France as a student, I had to commute between Strasbourg to Paris. Carpooling was an affordable and convenient option.

What are the challenges for Easy As Carpooling?

Ride sharing isn’t new to the world and Kiwis. However, ride sharing is more commonly associated with shorter travel routes and most likely within the city limits.

Our challenge is to get commuters to accept carpooling (ride sharing) as a reliable mode of transport for both short and long distances, and for both routine and non-routine travel occasions.

What is the strategy to spread?

We want to start by targeting travellers, specifically backpackers. Renting a car to get around is common. Most travellers follow the similar itinerary and there is always a spare seat or two in their vehicle.

Why not share the rental cost, share the experience of discovering this beautiful country with others?
To start, we plan to have Easy As Carpooling featured in major travel portals, blogs and forums.

How do you see EACP in a year, in 5 years

To make carpooling a part of our daily vernacular.

The population in New Zealand is only going to get bigger. Carpooling needs to be accepted as a reliable mode of transport, just like bus, train, boats.

Our ambition is to encourage every Kiwi and overseas traveller to experience carpooling at least once. We are confident that once is enough to get people to want more.