In August last year, TomTom released its annual traffic index survey indicating that Cape Town is the most congested city in South Africa. On the list of the world’s most congested cities, Cape Town ranked 47th internationally. Current congestion levels result in a 71% increase in journey time during the morning peak period when compared to free-flowing travel time. Congestion has become a common feature in Cape Town and has reached a point where it is negatively impacting business productivity.

In a recent interview, Dr Lisa Kane, Honorary Research Associate at UCT’s Centre of Transport Studies, highlighted that building new roads is not a way out of traffic congestion – it is a short-term solution that will not solve anything in the long-term. With this in mind, and as part of our Transport Programme, Accelerate Cape Town, together with our members from Allan Gray, British American Tobacco, Deloitte, Nedbank, PwC, Webber Wentzel and Woolworths, launched a Carpooling Pilot with ride-share app uGoMyWay. The pilot aims to stimulate corporate carpooling as a mechanism to ease traffic congestion into and out of the central business district (CBD), and will help to keep the city moving and growing sustainably.

In South Africa, less than 2% of commuters have adopted carpooling and nearly 80% of cars entering Cape Town’s CBD are single occupancy vehicles. A well-developed app, uGoMyWay aims to remove cars from the road by connecting drivers and passengers to share their everyday journeys. Using a Smartphone, the app allows users to create routine journeys such as, home-to-work or home-to-school. Users are matched and ranked according to best compatibility, and a chat function allows users to establish a dialogue before personal details are shared. Once this has taken place, users decide who will drive and what the shared costs will be.

To date, the results of the pilot have been successful as downloads have increased by 62%. Additionally, 91% of participants in Accelerate Cape Town’s ring-fenced group received a match. Chris Megan, co-founder of uGoMyWay, says that large-scale carpooling has huge benefits if you consider that every carpooling participant takes another car off the road, resulting in less congestion. He adds that real-time ride-share technology has the greatest potential to help solve the issue of traffic congestion.

In a recent interview on KFM, our CEO, Ryan Ravens, emphasised the importance of behavioural change and said that increasing congestion could dampen the growth of our city region and we need to embrace solutions that include the use of emerging technology.

The UGoMyWay app is free to download on IOS and Android and we would like to encourage you to consider carpooling as a solution to easing traffic congestion.