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It’s the age of sharing. Social media is just that – social, it’s about liking, sharing, pinning, tweeting, following and commenting. The social revolution has everyone talking, to each other and the conversations are shared across the globe in video, text, images and sound clips. Consumers have embraced the social age and sharing is now second nature; pictures, videos, news, thoughts, it’s all an extension of daily living that has taken the world by storm.

Carpool Week is another sharing initiative; pairing South African’s up to share a journey and in turn having enormous benefits on travelling, expenses and the environment. 2013 marks the first year South African’s partner up on roads across the nation; the initiative runs from 7 – 11 October and has a dedicated site to assist motorists in finding the perfect passenger to share the road and share the ride.

With one third of South Africans using private vehicles to travel to and from work, congestion on the roads is increasing and so too are the carbon emissions. In 2009, car-pooling represented 43.5% of trips in the U.S. and now in 2013, South Africans pledge their commitment to a greener tomorrow. The personal benefits from the initiative are enormous, considering the statement made by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters “e-tolling in Gauteng will most likely be implemented by the end of the year”, another cost that will soon hit Gauteng motorists. This is only one additional cost, the ever fluctuating petrol price is another consideration as well as vehicle maintenance and upkeep which is heavy on the pocket considering that most vehicles remain parked for the better part of the day.

In Europe, TAXI-E was founded a year ago; this fleet of fully electric cars takes green to a new level of consciousness and the early adoption of the initiative is seen in the some 500 000km’s already reflecting on the odometers. The service uses only Nissan LEAF vehicles and with “quick charging” taking place two to three times a day, the vehicles are always ready for the next trip. The value-added service, Carwings, enables motorists to control certain vehicle functionality remotely; air conditioner, battery status check, find charging stations and start charging are only some options available. The new initiative is less expensive than standard taxi’s and “A taxi is typically as polluting as 35 regular cars in the city,” says Ruud Zandvliet, co-founder of TAXI-E.

It seems green is on the horizon with infrastructure development moving in line with electric vehicle needs and integrated vehicle functionality, but until this becomes accessible to the global population, Carpool week is a great way for South African’s to show their commitment to a greener tomorrow. Big brands and big names are supporting this cause, major FMCG brands as well as Arrive Alive and Matrix to name a few.

To see who is going your way visit www.findalift.co.za, registration is quick and easy, and the site also offers a savings calculator to see how sharing converts to saving.

Also view:

Ridesharing/ Carpooling and Road Safety

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