After returning from a six year stint in London, 24 year-old Daniel Claassen, intending to study further, stayed much longer than he expected.
A serious car accident made Claasen realise that life is too short to just “go through the motions,” and that “one should take calculated chances and live your dreams now”.
Having worked as a web strategy manager, Claasen had returned with the mindset of finding online solutions. Experiencing first hand the dangers of increased traffic congestion and sensing the need to alter travel behaviour in an ever growing population, Claasen created a ride-sharing platform which provides free online journey-matching, called FindaLift. It is now used by over 7000 people.
“Everyday, motorists drive around with empty seats in their cars, and with many commuting journeys being single occupancy, most cars on our roads have at least three empty seats in them,” says Claasen. “Empty seats waste road space and, indirectly, money.”
With fuel at R13 a litre and an increasing need to reduce carbon emissions, just how much are empty car seats costing the commuter and the environment? And how can we make better use of these empty seats? For many people sharing a journey could be a viable alternative transport option.
Sharing a modest commute of 25km to work and back each day for one year can keep money in your wallet and the environment clean.
• Sharing with 1 person saves around: R6 500 and 2.5t CO2
• Sharing with 2 persons save around: R8 670 and 5t CO2
• Sharing with 3 persons save around: R9 750 and 7.5t CO2
With so many people travelling in the same direction at roughly the same time each day, it could make a big impact if some of these journeys could be shared, so why aren’t we sharing journeys on a much bigger scale? One of the major reasons is that commuters are not aware of others driving their way on their time clock – or how to access such information.
Enter Findalift.co.za. The website is secure and only shows you other member’s intended travel information without revealing personal identities or information. A new member registers for free, creates a journey on the system and searches for matches. Once a potential match has been found, secure contact is made through the website and arrangements to share the journey can be communicated between members.
Michael Wilson from Hout Bay thinks Findalift.co.za: “is a very useful site”. After registering one morning, he ‘had a lift organised 30 mins later!” Dany de Pauw from Cape Town says, “I’ve seen sites like this in the USA and Europe but not as simple and user friendly – You deserve an Oscar for this!“ Charmaine Garcia from Stellenbosch syas, “Findalift.co.za is a brilliant service.”
I’ve always wanted to do something different and of value by starting my own business,” says Claasen. Findalift.co.za, is doing just that – giving commuters an alternative travel option and reducing traffic congestion on SA roads.