Kenya: Tech Companies Run to Disrupt Kenya's Chaotic Public Transport

After raising almost US100M in investments last year, Egyptian Swvl has embarked on a pilot scheme in Nairobi with an aim of disrupting the chaotic public sector in Kenya

Egyptian bus-hailing company Swvl has embarked on a pilot test of running services in Nairobi even as Nairobi prepares for major tech disruptions as well as government led streamlining.

The company has started marketing on social media asking users to pilot test their rides in two routes of Thika route as well as Langata road, which incidentally are prone to major traffic snarl-ups.

SWVL CEO and co-founder, Mostafa Kandil told to Forbes Middle East, "Swvl intends to invest $16.9 million (300 million EGP) in the local market in the next three years to empower as many micro-entrepreneurs as possible in Egypt and the region and to become one of the biggest job creators in the country."

This will likely change the manner in which Nairobi moves its masses even as government plans to roll out Rapid Bus Transport system in one of the most congested and traffic jam prone cities in Africa.

Kenya's transport system is run by buses and vans popularly known as matatus which despite being top employer for unskilled youth as well being a great net for government revenue is characterized by chaos and sometimes prone to disorder and crime.

It is estimated that there are about 30,000 Matatus that get into Nairobi CBD with an average capacity of 25 passengers each or capacity to ferry 750,000 Nairobians in and out of CBD during rush hour.

Little Cab, the e-taxi service also announced its plans to launch an e-bus service to serve folks in Nairobi. The company says that it has closed up to US$ 12 million in funding, and looks forward to more significant investments as it augments its trade proposition with additional services.

Equally, Ubabi Vanpooling Society a Kenyan based membership organization are also running pilot tests in Kenya. The Society was formed in response to a need to reduce traffic congestion in the City of Nairobi through encouraging private vehicle owners to leave their vehicles at home.

Safiri Express is also a similar service that has started piloting in Nairobi offering pre-booked shuttle services, all promising order and convenience to its users.

Countries in Africa have been on a race to modernize their public transport system with Tanzania, Ethiopia and Rwanda leading the path in either deploying town service using trams or BRT system.

Kenya has entered into agreement with South African vehicle manufacturers to deliver buses for the Nairobi mooted BRT system which is likely to alter the manner in which Nairobi travels.

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