Business

This app wants to get you in a car with strangers – and promises to save you money on your daily commute

Business Insider SA
Gugulethu Mhlanga, Simphiwe Kuse, City One app, Ub
Commuters can connect with each other through the City One app
  • The City One app is the brainchild of two former University of Cape Town roommates who wanted to find a way to encourage people to commute together.
  • The app connects people living and working within close proximity of each other.
  • The commuters share the costs that start at a minimum fee of R20 with an added charge of R2.50 per km.


The founders of the new City One app hope that it can get more South Africans to travel together - saving them time and money. 

The app connects people living and working within close proximity of each other, so that they can start travelling together.

The commuters share the costs that start at a minimum fee of R20 with an added charge of R2.50 per km.

"Our primary market is people who stay and work in the same area," co-founder, Gugulethu Mhlanga tells Business Insider South Africa.

"Other platforms match people for on-demand use cases, which is generally difficult. We believe focusing on daily commuting will tackle a painful part of daily driving".

The app is the brainchild of friends Gugulethu Mhlanga and Simphiwe Kuse.

Gugulethu Mhlanga, Simphiwe Kuse, City One app, Ub
Former university roommates, Gugulthu Mhlanga and Simphiwe Kuse are hoping to reduce people's commuter time with their new app. Supplied

They met as roommates at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where Kuse studied for a degree in Philosophy, Public Policy and Policy and Mhlanga, in mechanical engineering.

Due to financial difficulties, Mhlanga dropped out of the university and taught himself to code. Kuse graduated and worked in various government departments.

It was during a morning commute from Athlone, with a housemate, that Mhlanga came up with the idea of encouraging people to ride together in order to reduce traffic in Cape Town.

"Every morning I would watch as people drive alone in their cars while struggling with traffic congestion, rising fuel prices and parking costs," he says.

"It made sense that sharing vehicles would be an efficient way to commute but motivating people to do so and putting strangers in touch with each other would be very difficult.”

He reached out to his former varsity roommate, Kuse, to conceptualise the idea of the City One app. The pair had always had a passion for improving Africans' quality of life through technology. This, for them, was the perfect start.

The app is currently only available on Apple's iStore and covers Johannesburg and Cape Town.

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