NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – Ride-sharing firm Taxify has introduced a new motorbike hailing service that works within their existing smartphone application being used by vehicles.
Chisom Anoke, Taxify Kenya Operations Manager says that the firm had developed the new service in response to a growing demand for a safe, organized and reliable motorbike service.
“Rising use of motorcycle riders for public passenger transport is a reality that we have to live with particularly in Nairobi where traffic jams and clogged roads delay movement,” he explained.
Although Taxify remains cagey on the number of Boda boda riders it has enlisted, the firm says it has started off with an attractive offer to the drivers with a minimum fare of Sh50 per trip, a base rate of Sh30, Sh15 per Km and Sh3 per minute.
Taxify projects its Boda boda riders will take home Sh1,500 gross daily income translating to Sh45,000 per month.
Anoke says the additional application is able to monitor the behaviour and providing passengers with a platform to immediately share user experience and rate the driver.
“It is mandatory for both the rider and the passenger to wear a helmet and a reflective jacket. Nobody except those with a disability is allowed to sit facing sideways as the rules only allow passengers to sit astride,” said Anoke.
Anoke explained that by providing a smartphone application linking passengers to motorcycle drivers, Taxify Boda is contributing to the overall structuring of the informal transport economy, estimated to already ferry at least 10,000 people daily in Nairobi alone.
“We want to help the motorcycle drivers formalize their businesses by providing them with a platform to track trips, earnings and even plan for personal development initiatives such a saving with a sacco. Since they are already trying to establish formal groupings, Taxify Boda will greatly raise their operational focus and even eventually make it easier for them to afford to purchase new motorcycles,” he added.
Interested drivers will be required to use motorcycles whose earliest year of manufacture is 2015.
They will also need Public Service Vehicle Insurance, two reflective jackets and two helmets.
The drivers will also undergo thorough verification before being accepted by Taxify.
“The system we have in place enables us to carry out thorough background checks in partnership with the NTSA and the Kenya Police Service.”
Drivers who are found to have contravened the rules will be automatically blocked based on the passenger ratings.
Kenya becomes the second country after Uganda where Taxify has launched the boda-boda service.