After being in a major car accident, Dan Claasen decided to find a solution to our traffic problem, and created a lift-sharing platform that is now used by over 5000 people.
In light of the rising cost of fuel and motoring, increasing congestion and the need to alter travel behavior in an ever growing population, it is rare to find an initiative that fights this at no cost to the public. Since 2009, one website had been giving commuters an alternative travel option by providing a free online journey-matching platform.
Findalift.co.za was founded 4 years ago by a 24 year-old Daniel Claasen. After living in london for 6 years upon finishing school, Dan had returned to SA, intending to stay for a year for studying purposes, but his visit back home ended up lasting much longer than he expected. He was in a serious car accident, after which he was lucky to be alive.
life is too short to “go through the motions”
“At this point I realised that life is too short to just ‘go through the motions’ and that one should take chances and live your dreams NOW. I am still home and will never leave SA again. I’ve always wanted to do something different of value and start my own business, since an early age when I bred fish and sold it to the pet shop.” Says Dan.
Five weeks after the accident, the inspiration for FindaLift was sparked whilst discussing, with a family member, the horrendous traffic on the N1 during rush hour, and the fact that one could only hear about someone travelling your direction through word-of-mouth. Having worked as web strategy manager and returned home with the mindset of finding online solutions, Dan immediately thought: “How can we securely connect people that don’t know each other, but travel the same route? Because surely there are thousands!”
Dan decided to do some extensive research and it proved that online journey-sharing has been steadily evolving in the United States, United Kingdom and other developed countries for many years. Ridesharing was working abroad, because of similar transport and economical issues we were facing in South Africa. Technical development commenced in Jan ‘09 and Findalift.co.za was launched Dec ‘09.
“They say ‘Life’s greatest rewards are reserved for those who bring joy to the lives of other people’ and I firmly believe and live that. Findalift.co.za helps South African’s save money and travel better by giving them an alternative and sustainable transport option. To keep the service free, we work with organisations and universities, to help their staff and students travel more sustainably and benefit their pockets. By doing this we will build critical mass on a national level and thus make ridesharing a viable option for many!” says Dan.
Over 5000 members
Findalift.co.za has welcomed over 5000 members nationally and has been South Africa’s Largest Ridesharing/ Lift Club Network since 2009. If you have empty seats in your car, simply need a lift or just want to save some money and see if there are others travelling your way, take 2min and add your journey on Findalift.co.za.
The lately redesigned platform shows members which of the other members travel their way. This way, they can decide to make secure contact and arrange to share the journey, helping commuters make better use of the empty seats in their cars while saving a lot of money and reducing their carbon footprint.
Instant travel buddies
The website allows you to quickly find others travelling your way so you can decide to share the journey. Register for free, confirm your start location and desired destination on the map and add your journey details. Then simply click on the ‘search for matches’ button and matches will be displayed instantly.
Once you’ve decided on a suitable match you can make secure contact through the website and send a ‘request to share’. Your request to share can then be accepted and journey sharing begins. Personally identifiable information about you is never shared!
The more people that know about this free service, the better the chance that members will find suitable matches and travel smarter.