Carpool Week 2017

There are millions of empty car seats on South African roads daily, causing traffic congestion, hurting our environment and costing us money.
Let’s change that.

Carpool week

Carpool Stories

We’ve asked over 10 000 South Africans to share their social carpooling stories with us, here are some of our favorites.

We play counsellor, coach, dietitian and parent adviser

I have a carpool of 4 ladies and myself, I’m sure you can imagine the stories we share! On the other hand we help, motivate and uplift each other.

When something unusual happens in another vehicle or when we see a cute driver, the remarks that follow are hilarious. Oh and 2 out of the 5 are married.

We have a birthday car party when there is a birthday. Birthdays are in January, March, June, August, September and December. We’ll have a mini birthday cake with candles and sing at the top of our lungs. It makes people in cars around us laugh and when that happens we simply hold up the cake for viewing. Presents are also exchanged.

We share our private stories but made a pact that these stories never leave the car. We play counsellor, coach, dietitian, parent adviser, the list is long. With morning traffic our moods can be dull but we try to be humorous.

For me, these ladies have become a special part of my life, my car friends as I lovingly call them. From different backgrounds, we still seem to get together and love and respect each other.
- Jessica

One member lost and aunt in that horrible taxi and train accident

I’m in a carpool, there are 5 of us in the car and I'm the most regular driver.

About two weeks ago there was an accident that was all over national news channels. The accident was between a train and a taxi where lives were lost. One of our lift club members lost an aunt in that accident.

Last week as a lift club we decided to each contribute money. We went to the family’s home to give them a prayer and the money that was contributed.

Our lift club members are like family, we share everything from happy to sad moments.
- Cindy

A South African, American and Rwandan starts a carpool

I have been commuting between Cape Town and Stellenbosch for the last three years and I have always had a carpool buddy.

I come from a very Afrikaans ‘dorpie’ far far away, went to a very Afrikaans high school, very Afrikaans university and then got a job in Cape Town working for a very Afrikaans boss. Long story short, I was 25 by the time I started my job in Stellenbosch and was still confusing my "is" and my "are"s!

Enter a very American carpool buddy! Liberal, social anthropologist with the wildest, loudest opinions about everything. One 8th German descent, the rest very uncertain. She believes the CIA is spying on her because of all the anti-government statements she makes on Facebook. And boom! I am fluent in English, still rolling my rrrrr's though. We still work together, so I stay updated on what people in power around the world are doing wrong.

Add to that mix a Rwandan engineering student. Loooooves all the fine things in life and God. English is his third language and now he needs to learn Afrikaans. Shame. We still go see artsy French movies at the Labia.

Exit first American, enter another. Definite Italian descent, sweetest little ballerina girl. Has ADD and dyslexia and managed to get a science degree without taking any drugs ever. She found me on

When they all left me, my first South African carpool buddy found me on FindaLift. English boy from the Southern Suburbs. Science whizz with a science blog. He has read all the fantasy books I like, and more. Great cooking tips on an almost daily basis!

And finally, just two months ago, an Afrikaans girl joined us! Stunning girl, but her English sucks! Is that what I sounded like three years ago?
- Cari

We are not just colleagues anymore but have become good friends

I am currently in a lift club from Kensington to Sandton and back from Monday to Friday. There are three of us travelling together.

Being a lift club cuts down on our travel expenses and it is great to have people with you when you run out of petrol or get a puncture. Yes that has happened more than once before. We even broke down when the cam belt snapped.

As you can imagine we have a good few laughs on the way to work and back at other drivers and road rage.

Being in a lift club brings people closer together and builds friendships. We are not just colleagues anymore but have become good friends sharing our highs and lows with each other. We are a truly captive audience!

I would advise anyone to travel with someone rather than on their own. It makes the boring commute seem so much quicker.
- Gill

He actually had a drink while driving!

I once got a lift from a friend’s father who had been travelling in the same lift club with another elderly gentleman for 20 years.

They left at 6:15am and we reached our destination at 7:00am, an hour before I actually start work. The drive in to work was pretty uneventful.

They were quite older than me so we didn't really have much to chat about. On the way home they took a different route and I was a little confused as to what was happening. I didn't say anything because I didn't feel it was my place to do so. They stopped in at the local off-license and the passenger jumped out.

He returned a few minutes later with a bottle of Tassenberg. He then decanted into two glasses which he and the driver proceeded to consume during our drive home.

I was gobsmacked! Needless to say, I only lasted one week with that lift club.
- Gary

Most students are unaware of this

For the first 2 years of my time at University, I used to travel with 3-4 other students in a car to campus from Somerset West to Stellenbosch. Classes started at 8am, which meant had to leave Somerset West at 6.30am at the latest. We had to wake up at 5.30am every day and would often only leave campus at 5pm.

Was it worth the early mornings and long days? Without a doubt.

With 4-5 of us in a car, it meant that we would be spending roughly R20 per day on travelling. That's R100 per week, and R400 per month. Currently, you can expect to pay up to R3000 per month on renting any flat in Stellenbosch - a price that most South African students could never afford.

Carpooling is the best, most economical and environmentally friendly way for students to afford long distance commuting.

Carpooling also allowed me to spend less money on petrol and accommodation, which allowed me to save up to buy a car. Now, although I don't travel to campus with quite so many other people, I still offer all my friends lifts to and from campus so we can all save money and reduce the use of petrol.

Many first year students are actually unaware of how cheap and efficient it is to travel via carpooling.
- Justin

I save 75% on my fuel costs

Living in the Cape Town City Bowl, I commute 20 minutes each morning through to my office.

I found 3 other guys that live in or close to town and together we commute to work each morning, leaving at 7:15.

By simply rotating 1 week on, 3 off, I save 75% on my fuel costs. It also means I made closer friends at work, and I’m always in early.

Carpooling is fantastic!
- Matt

My quiet daughter has found a very kind friend

We had a decently full station wagon with 4 children for the school run, before we added another learner from my eldest (18yrs) daughter’s class.

Before we started giving her a lift, my daughter didn't really speak to anyone.

Now my quiet daughter has found a very kind friend, who has introduced her to even more friend. She visits these new friends when she needs a break from the busyness at home. We often lift 2 or 3 extra friends back from school, it's a good thing we have a station wagon!

I am glad that I can help in this way. Now there are less cars on the road, less petrol being used and more human connections happening.
- Miranda

It almost happened right in my car!

I rideshare with 3 females and a male. When traveling in our carpool there’s always a funny story to share. Like this one time we just finished our company function and are busy traveling home.

The guy next to me in the passenger seat had one too many beers and looks like he is about to pass out. As we’re driving he asks me to stop for him because he wants to get something. The girls signal to me that it’s a bad idea, so I say “sorry bru, we’re on a tight schedule”.

….. 5minutes later he asks again, this time more persistent than earlier. Again I tell him traffic is really bad and we can’t stop anywhere.

He then insists that we stop at Petroport and says “it’s a guy thing”. I didn’t get what he was saying, I just took for granted that he was drunk and was talking nonsense.

By the time I pass Petroport this guy is wriggling in his seat. I asked him if he is okay and if everything is alright?

His response was: “I need to stop to go to the ‘TOILET’ I can’t hold it in anymore”. We were all laughing so hard, he didn’t see the humour in it.
- Gerald

We got through to Kfm!

I fondly remember my lift sharing (carpooling) school days. From grade 1 till grade 12 there were four kids in the car signing along to Kfm.

One of the activities we tried constantly was to phone into Kfm to request a song. After so many unsuccessful tries, we finally got through to them. It was a special day because it was also my birthday! I remember requesting the song and the entire car was singing and jamming along together. Some of the best times of my life.

Other times we would just sit together and read in the car. I have fond memories of the togetherness and the silly things we would do.
- Kylie

Oops, nou is ek in die regte kar...

Die afgelope twee maande het ek begin saamry met ‘n saamryklub. Die derde oggend het soos gewoonlik begin. Dit was nog donker buite, maar ek haat om mense te laat wag.

Ek het buitentoe gegaan en onder ‘n boom gaan wag. Ongeveer 7 uur het daar ‘n motor ‘n entjie van my stilgehou. Die vroue-bestuurder was besig om in haar handsak te krap, ek kon dit sien want die motor se dakliggie was aan. Ek het nader gestap en besluit dit is my geleentheid.

Ek het die passasierskant se deur oopgemaak, my voet ingesit en met ‘n môre- môre gegroet. Die volgende oomblik het die bestuurder met ‘n groot spoed weggetrek. Die deur het om die draai nog gewapper en toegeslaan.

Ek het heel verstom gaan staan. Ek het gewonder wat ek verkeerd gesê het. Die onvergenoegdheid het ingetree en ek het besluit, dat ek nie die ryklub nodig het nie.

Net toe ek my motor wil gaan haal om te ry, stop daar ‘n ander motor langs my. Ek maak die deur oop en met ‘n more- môre, nou is ek in die regte kar klim ek in.

Toe besef ek dat die ander bestuurder gedink het ek wou haar hijack!
- Annas

Moving forward in our shared journey both within and beyond the boardroom!

When our office relocated, I was fortunate enough to have opportunities to carpool with different officemates.

One of our Managers in particular has kindly extended his car to service myself and a few others who come from various teams and positions (project manager, professional officer and interns alike).

Driving together has been great in bringing us all together in a relaxed and casual way, which we do not get to have much of. It has encouraged us to get to know each other at a personal level which would not have been as conducive in a work setting.

From a day-to-day “woosah” debrief with people who understand our professional setting to engaging conversations about our lives, sharing inside jokes and great music to start the day with, it definitely forges a certain bond that allow us to further appreciate each other as people we have the privilege of being in a team with professionally.

Furthermore it also allows us to give a better insight of where each one is coming from (literally and figuratively!), which can harness genuinely considerate, personable, and effective relationships with each other, as we move forward in our shared journey both within and beyond the boardroom!
- Irina