App-backed shuttles to disrupt the transport sector

August 13, 2019 (2 weeks ago)
SWVL has been in existence for four months now and has expanded its routes from four to fifty-five within the same period/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13- Bus hailing apps are set to disrupt the transport sector, four months after the launch of such an app into the Kenyan market.

SWVL Country Manager Mostafa Kalil says the app has been received well, even as it strives to reduce traffic congestion caused by taxi hailing apps and matatus.

“One of the big pillars in solving the transportation problem is placing many passengers in fewer vehicles where we have seen a such a method will help reduce a lot of congestion experienced in different cities,” said Kalil.

Last week, a report done by Fehr & Peers revealed that ride-hailing apps such as Uber are worsening effects on congestion.

“The new findings show that Uber and Lyft account for just 1-3 percent in the larger metropolitan regions surrounding the six cities. These numbers suggest that ride-hailing is hitting traffic harder in many cities than previously understood,” reads the report.

SWVL has been in existence for four months now and has expanded its routes from four to fifty-five within the same period.

“In a day we do about six trips and the fare does not go beyond Sh200, this is because the company is seeking to control traffic congestion in cities,” he adds.

For SWVL one orders a bus which then picks you at your specific location, with an allowance of 20 minutes before the bus leaves.

The organization has equally added an insurance cover for all its riders.

Last year, a report by UK-based firm Deloitte City Mobility Index also recommended a heavy investment in a light rail mass transport system saying this will increase commuters’ transport choices, helping to mitigate prices charged by matatus and taxis due to high demand.

It further stated that for the disruption to succeed, it requires A Sh100 billion investment that will see a modern hub established at a section of Nairobi Railway Station’s 273-acre land as well as a light rail system with the first phase set for rollout within the next decade.

“In the absence of integrated public transportation and payment methods, Nairobi has proven to be a green-field market for all the major ride-hailing and car-pooling firms that are piloting quick-trip options,” reads the report.

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