'Car Rapide' – a successful new stamp story

A new 'Slowly Stamp Suggestions' site arrived

In late April, without fanfarre or being announced, promoted. I think that was for testing purposes, to make sure things worked.

Somehow I found out about it, and started spreading the word.

It's been a month now

...and in a short time we saw ideas posted, being promoted to various status levels.

- 'Under Review' - 'Planned', - 'In Progress' - and finally, 'Complete'

Around mid-May, Slowly team felt the site was running well and made it public with banners appearing in both the mobile and Web Client inviting people to visit the site.

Things happened fast

I was very happy to see one of my good friends idea and the nicely made post he created being successful - with the resulting stamp appearing in their local store in less than 30 days.

His original suggestion, linked above, is dated April 30, 2022. The finished stamp was added to the Slowly API and reported in our subReddit along with all the other new stamps for June – which were added to the API on May 29, so a 30 day idea to finished product turn-around.

Trés Rapide, aussi! 😎

Today I created the WIKI page for it.

'Car Rapide' is an interesting phenomenon – one of those things we learn about while looking at and finding more info about the new stamps we come about.

Since it's so different from other items we see in Slowly stamps, I thought a nice post telling the story is worth it. So, here it is.

The text below is a partial quote from a The Culture Trip article, which is a wonderful read.

The Car Rapide is a Dakar institution.

The inspiration for a large number of the souvenirs in Dakar’s markets, these unique, colourful, hand-painted local buses are the ultimate symbol of the Senegalese capital.

From fridge magnets to sketches, key rings to coat hooks, the Car Rapide is by far and away the most ‘souvenired’ item in Dakar, and for good reason. Their intricately-decorated chassis are as synonymous with the city’s bustling streets as New York’s yellow cabs or London’s red buses.

Made in France, transformed in Senegal

In their former lives, the Car Rapides were simple, windowless vans that ferried goods around French towns in the 1960s. A decade later, they touched down on Senegalese soil and were reborn. Entrepreneurial locals added windows, seats and custom paint jobs, offering cheap, communal transport at a time when public transport was merely a futuristic vision. The Dakarois were besotted, and by the end of the 1990s there was an estimated 3,000 Car Rapides weaving around the city.

How they work

Car Rapides are a misnomer: they are neither ‘rapide’, nor are they a ‘car’ (bus) in the conventional sense. That’s because Car Rapides have no set routes – just destinations – usually ferrying locals downtown in the mornings and back to the outskirts in the evenings.

Between the driver up front and the conductor swaying off the back, they trundle down major roads drumming up business at bus stops, roundabouts and crowded curbs. But they can also be hailed down like a taxi and rove through back streets to avoid heavy traffic.

Big thank you to :

- Babacar for the suggestion and the care in presenting it. - Slowly Team, for creating the new site, responding so well to ideas. - The Culture Trip, for a wonderful reference article.

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