Little cab launches short code USSD option to net more clients

A screen capture of the Little Cab taxi hailing application developed by Craft Silicon and powered by Safaricom /COURTESY
A screen capture of the Little Cab taxi hailing application developed by Craft Silicon and powered by Safaricom /COURTESY

Taxi hailing service Little Cab is now available to non-smartphone owners, after its parent organisation Craft Silicon announced the introduction of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) hailing option.

Through the short code *826# owners of feature mobile phones can also enjoy the benefits of the in partnership with telecom firm Safaricom.

Craft Silicon CEO Kamal Budhabhatti said the introduction of USSD, a first in Kenya, will radically change the taxi hailing business bringing on board millions of Kenyans previously locked out due to the fact that they do not own a smartphone.

“The idea behind Little Cab, powered by Safaricom, is to provide affordable and convenient cab services to as many Kenyans as possible and I believe we are well on our way to achieving this through the launch of the USSD service,” Budhabhatti said.

In just over a month since its launch, Little Cab's mobile application has had over 20,000 downloads on Android, Apple and Windows operating systems and is served by over 1,000 partner drivers.

Little Cab clients additionally get to enjoy free Wi-Fi onboard with an option to play music from one of many FM stations broadcasting in Nairobi.

As a safety measure, Little Cab offers the Lady Bug option, a lady friendly category with professional lady drivers to ensure women’s safety on the road. Two other categories when hailing cabs off the service are Comfort and Basic.

Budhabhatti emphasised driver welfare as an integral part to the success of the service since its launch.

“Since our launch, Little takes no more than 15 per cent off drivers’ earnings compared to other players in the market who take between 18 to 25 per cent,” the CEO said.

Other features that Little Cab offers include a corporate option though which businesses can offer service as a convenient corporate taxi option for their employees.

The app's corporate dashboard enables businesses track and manage employee rides down to department level, while users can easily switch between personal and corporate rides on the app.