It is well known that across many African countries, access to affordable, decent transportation and traffic congestions are major problems. Furthermore, especially in South Africa, the December / January holiday period usually sees an increase in fatal traffic accidents given, among other reasons, the volumes of people going on holiday or going to visit families by road in different parts of the country. Already, since 01 December 2016 until the 20th of December 2016, there had been over 800 people who passed away as a result of accidents on South African roads. This is where a new South African App and website, CarTrip, believe they can solve this problem.
CarTrip is an Internet-based ridesharing platform, where "car drivers and potential passengers can connect using a website or mobile application. The driver is traveling from one destination to another destination, independent of any passengers, and can pick up and drop them off along the way with minor deviations for the convenience of the pickup and drop-off".
How CarTrip Works
According to the platform and App's developers, CarTrip automatically calculates the fare the driver may charge for the trip, and the passenger will pay the fare online by means of a credit card. Also, passengers don't only pay their trip fare but are also charged a booking fee for the service which is added to their fare. There is definitely a case for CarTrip as it potentially can reduce the number of cars on the road as an alternative to public transport even for the unplanned road trips as it allows you to save on travel costs by sharing your ride with someone going in the same direction. A very similar service to what UberPOOL provides.
How UberPOOL Works
“Finding transport for long distance trips as well as work commutes and even to events and festivals are all common problems in today's busy world. Car Trip aims to contribute towards solving those issues while reducing our carbon footprint through having less cars on the road and even providing a platform for meeting new people,”Chris Faure, Car Trip Founder and CEO
Although not yet available in any African city, UberPOOL is similar to the service that CarTrip provides in that it allows Uber customers to share their UberX car and driver with other riders who are going in the same direction allowing passengers to share the cost. Also, just like Uber, CarTrip says that "all drivers and passengers are rated on a public platform, so you’re ensured a safe and convenient ride". With Uber's popularity among passengers in various African cities, it remains to be seen how CarTrip will gain sufficient enough traction in South Africa before the almost inevitable launch of UberPOOL in South Africa.
Also, CarTrip sees itself as an alternative to, among others, public transport for long distance travel and road trips. It would be interesting to see how it compares cost-wise to other public transport alternatives.