11 Feb 2016
Cairo, Egypt
Sustainable Transport

Anyone who has ever driven in Cairo knows traffic can be an issue. Asphyxiated by the gridlock caused by some 9.5 million residents, Egypt’s sprawling capital faces serious air pollution problems. The World Bank has ranked Cairo’s air quality as one of the worst in the world — and more than two million cars on the road and a thousand factories are to blame.

This was the scene when KarTag entered the market in 2013. KarTag is a free mobile application that offers carpooling solutions to people living within the same communities, strengthening social ties among users and reducing overall CO2 emissions. Not restricted to individual vehicles, the app also connects users who want to share a taxi or bus.

Building a better community:

In addition to providing a practical solution to the clogged streets and air pollution, KarTag is also designed to improve hyperlocal communities. Users can offer trips to their Facebook contacts by setting their own rates and routes. Creator Hayk Hakobyan says this feature helps the application create a network of friends of friends, employees at large companies, or students from the same university. He adds that the app is based on the principle of trust and proximity between users.

This mobile application helps find alternatives to personal car use in Cairo | The Switchers

Hakobyan and his team were very much inspired by the shared economy that has disrupted the hospitality and transportation industries worldwide. “The sharing economy is a lever for ecological transition, and it is from this principle that KarTag was designed,” he says. The company generates profits by developing customized versions of the app for larger companies that wish to facilitate the mobility of their employees.

To improve the experience of its users, KarTag has added a number of features into its platform, including real-time traffic conditions and the ability to book taxis. Carpooling — only with a modern twist. While only currently available in Cairo, the KarTag app should soon be reaching the Middle East, North African, and Asian markets.

 

Photos: Courtesy of KarTag and Jean-Marc Joseph

KarTag Sustainable transport
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