Internet-based ridesharing platform CarTrip has just published results from a survey looking to identify the main causes of gridlock South Africa’s most congested city.
Of the more than 1000 motorists approached by CarTrip, it was found that over 70% were alone in their cars between 6 am and 9 am, which is when morning traffic is at its peak. If these motorists had shared their cars with three others, the number of cars on the road would have been reduced by 75%.
In 2013, the TomTom global traffic index revealed that Cape Town is the most congested city in South Africa, with a global ranking at 55th place. The same survey revealed that traffic peak times have increased from two hours (07:00 – 09:00) to four (06:00 – 10:00) and that most of the congestion is caused by vehicles with single occupants.
Nationally, the figures are much the same; there are over 10 million cars and pickup trucks on the road, and 70% of these vehicles have three empty seats, leaving 20 million empty car seats in South Africa.
"If we could fill a portion of these empty seats with passengers", CarTrip founder Chris Faure says, "it would dramatically reduce congestion on the roads. Given the size of our population and the number of cars and empty seats on the roads, sharing your car with two or three other passengers could reduce traffic by more than 50%.”
Faure adds that each carpool of 3 people saves approximately 5 tons of CO2 emissions annually and 2200L of petrol, with acres of parking space made available.