Startups

Carpooling site CarTrip wants to bring sanity to South Africa’s roads again

Founded by Chris Faure, CarTrip is a new South African carpooling marketplace connecting car owners to passengers going the same route to earn a small fee as a reimbursement for their fuel and car costs.

The platform charges a flat fee of 80c per kilometre with no peak rates, thereby improving road safety, reducing congestion and road maintenance costs among others and is several times cheaper than Uber  or other taxi services as the driver is not after profits but he or she is travelling from one destination to another destination and only sees passengers as company or fuel reimbursement independent of his or her daily routine.

CarTrip’s price charged by the driver is determined by the reimbursement rates defined by SARS so that drivers do not make a profit and instead partially recover some of their ordinary driving costs by sharing their journeys with fellow travellers.

Faure was inspired to launch CarTrip after an experience he had while travelling through Spain.

“I needed a lift to another town, which was about 100km away. I was staying in a lovely coastal town and there was no train service, only a bus service that left at irregular times and a very expensive taxi service. The English friend that I was travelling with suggested we try a Blablacar, something I had never heard of before,” he said.

According to Faure, within minutes they had booked a ride and headed to the town. The next morning the driver picked them up at an agreed upon place and dropped them at their destination.

“It was such a great experience that from then on I only used Blablacar for my travels throughout Europe,” he said. “On my return back to South Africa, I wondered how many people in our country had the same problem of not being able to travel to another town or city because there were no trains or buses that fitted in with their schedule,” he added.

After doing his research, Faure went ahead to realize that the same problem existed in South Africa as the country had a poor public transport infrastructure with very few trains and buses which were unreliable. He says that he also discovered that there were almost 10 million cars and bakkies on SA roads and 80% of South Africans drove alone in their cars most of the times meaning there were at least over 20 million empty vehicle seats available throughout the country on a regular basis.

“It was clear that a Blablacar type service was needed in South Africa and so began the journey to find a solution which ultimately led to the formation of CarTrip,” he says in his site.

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