DISRUPTION

Digital public transport to insulate commuters from hiked fares

In Summary
  • With these applications on the commuters’ devices, it will help bring order on public transport and also help in times of crisis and emergencies.
  • It operates by receiving promo codes after you register. The promo codes are sent every week which makes the fare cut by half
One of the shuttles used by SWVL
'UNFAIR' COMPETITION: One of the shuttles used by SWVL
Image: COURTESY

Public transport operators did not hesitate to hike fares a day after the Ministry of Health gave a directive that they all observe the one-meter rule to minimise the spread of coronavirus that has since claimed one life in the country. 

Although this spelled doom to commuters who are now forced to pay more than double, technology has come to their rescue.

Several applications that have been developed are coming to save the congestion on the roads and tame the indiscipline of public transport drivers.

Swvl is one of the applications developed to relieve commuters of the challenges they face. It started operation in Kenya in 2019.

It operates by receiving promo codes after you register. The promo codes are sent every week which makes the fare cut by half. By this, they are encouraging the commuters to continue using their service.

They have recently created must have trips completely free of charge and it will cater to the major areas only. This is if you need to leave the house for essential reasons.

They also offer out of town service by extending their routes to Eldoret and Nyeri. For those traveling to rural areas you are safe to travel as you are guaranteed to spend less for long commutes or travel. They are also observing hygiene by making sure their vehicles are clean and providing sanitizers when the customers are entering the vehicle.

M-Epesi, a new emerging application to the public transport industry, is making inroads to ensure commuters have a comfortable ride to and from their destinations. They also ensure that they are able to know the cost of commuting.

By allowing the users to view and access public transport in real-time, it simplifies transport by enabling them to know the availability of vehicles for booking. It helps to cut short the queues experienced at the stages in town and plan for their travel or commute.

Twende Carpooling is another option for commuters who are requested to be at work during this period. It is a platform that connects drivers who have empty seats in their vehicles traveling in the same direction.

This works by you downloading and registering with the service. It will give you two options with one of the passengers and the other for the driver. It is not only a solution for the congestion on Kenyan roads but it also offers you a ride in style and comfort arriving where you were going more conveniently.

An advantage of this service is that you are able to meet new people, socialize and build networks without overwhelming yourself. You are also able to decide on the most ideal pick up and drop off points provided most of the passengers are in consensus.

With these applications on the commuters’ devices, it will help bring order on public transport and also help in times of crisis and emergencies.