SWVL has told off naysayers saying that the Egyptian
firm is exiting Kenya.
Following reports in December that the travel company
which has jumped into the chaotic matatu industry was leaving the Kenyan
market, SWVL has refuted the claims by some bloggers.
SWVL embarked on the Kenyan market after raising
almost US100M in investments last year.
Disrupting Kenya’s Chaotic Public Transport
The Egyptian bus-hailing company embarked on a pilot scheme in Nairobi and in December last year, it launched long-distance travel services.
Those who have used the services say that the company move is welcome to ease the madness that comes with the festive seasons’ travel.
“I have used SWVL to Nakuru and back to Nairobi. While the services are not 5 star, it is a welcome shift from the hassle that is matatu during times like Christmas and Easter. The services being offered are superb in comparison to the usually unreliable matatus and the hiked fares in peak seasons,” says Job.
SWVL CEO and co-founder, Mostafa Kandil told Forbes Middle East that the company was seeking to transform public transport in the region.
“Swvl intends to invest USD16.9 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.”
Once the system picks, it will change the manner in
which Nairobi moves its masses.
The move comes at a time when the government seems to have
given up on rolling out Rapid Bus Transport (BRT) system which was meant to
decongest the city.
Cartels Want SWVL Out of Nairobi
While the government has failed in streamlining the
sector, the failed policies and lethargy in making the sector work is for good
reason. There are cartels raking in billions from it and they would not risk
that source of money closing.
The government launched the Bus Rapid Transport system
over a year ago even marking the lanes on the roads but so far, no single bus
is on the roads.
This is despite the Treasury allocating Ksh5.53
billion to be used in the construction of the special lanes for the
While no one is accountable for the failure to launch,
the government is targeting the disruptors seeking to bring sanity to the
In September, the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA)
announced blacklisting specific vehicles operating under SWVL and Little
Shuttle companies invalidating their licenses.
“The vehicles under these hailing app companies
acquired a Tours Service Licence (TSL). The authority notes that Little Shuttle
and Swvl are operating the vehicles contrary to the provisions of the PSV
regulations,” said NTSA Director General Francis Meja.
He said that the two companies would only be able to
operate when they comply with the PSV Regulations.
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