Petrol? We all complain about the prices and run with the petrol light on a little longer than we should. Traffic? We’ve all been there. And for way too long. But if you have a look around, as you sit amongst the many that brave the 4pm gridlock, how many of your fellow drivers are alone in their car? Those empty seats hold the potential to be so much more.
Carpooling is the answer. Save cash on fuel and toll fees, reduce road congestion and help save the environment; offer up those lonely spare seats to passengers in need.
The term ‘carpool’ is still somewhat unfamiliar amongst South Africans, who are more accustomed to phrases such as ‘lift’ and ‘lift club’. Although they have similarities, there are some key differences. Carpooling is a once-off rideshare, which tends to focus on medium/long distance journeys. Those who travel medium to long distances are usually traveling to visit people or to events, rather than a daily commute, so their trips are sporadic, once off, and often on an as-needed basis. On the other hand, a lift club is a recurring group of people who regularly do the same route and who have decided to travel together each time.
Carpooling is a way to for both drivers and passengers to save cash and reduce co2 emissions. Moreover, by reducing the amount of cars on the road, carpooling also minimizes expenses needed to repair road infrastructure.
Many people believe that carpooling is inflexible. However, it’s one of the most customizable ways to travel! Choose who you want to share your ride with, select your pick up and drop off points, specify your preferences and go. The people you meet may well become your friends, too!
One thing to bare in mind: carpooling is not a way to make a profit, but rather to share the existing costs equally amongst others. It’s actually illegal to profit from offering a lift to someone, unless you have a permit (PrDP) to do so, issued by the Public Transport Authority of SA.