Ride sharing firm Taxify has introduced a motor bike hailing service that works within the existing smartphone app being used by vehicles. The launch makes Kenya the second country where the service, known as Taxify Boda, is currently operational.
Speaking during the launch event in Nairobi, Chisom Anoke, Taxify Kenya operations manager said that the firm had developed the new service in response to a growing demand for a safe, organized and reliable motorbike service.
(TOP: Shivachi Muleji, Taxify’s Regional GM for East Africa – left – hands over a helmet and reflective jacket to motorcycle rider Shadrack Wanjiku when the firm launched its new Taxify Boda Service in Nairobi).
“Rising use of motorcycle riders for public passenger transport is a reality that we have to live with particularly in Nairobi where traffic jams and clogged roads delay movement,” Anoke said.
To incentivize Taxify Boda drivers, the firm has started off with an attractive offer to the riders with a minimum fare of Kshs 50 per trip. The fare is set at Kshs 30 base, Kshs 15 per km and Kshs 3 per minute; and with conservative estimates that the Taxify Bodas will carry out 100 trips per day, the firm expects each one to take home Kshs 1,500 gross daily income translating to Kshs 45,000 per month.
Taxify Boda will place a strong emphasis on safety for both the rider and passenger. Anoke explained that the application is able to monitor the behaviour and providing passengers with a platform to immediately share user experience and rate the driver.
The firm has put in place stringent rules to ensure the safety of passengers. It is mandatory for both the rider and the passenger to wear a helmet and a reflective jacket. Nobody except those with disabilities are allowed to sit facing sideways as the rules only allow passengers to sit astride.
Anoke explained that by providing a smart phone application linking passengers to motorcycle drivers, Taxify Boda is contributing to the overall structuring of the informal transport economy, estimated to already ferry at least 10,000 people daily in Nairobi alone.
“We want to help the motorcycle drivers formalize their businesses by providing them with a platform to track trips, earnings and even plan for personal development initiatives such a saving with a sacco. Since they are already trying to establish formal groupings, Taxify Boda will greatly raise their operational focus and even eventually make it easier for them to afford to purchase new motor cycles,” he added.
The firm has also invested in additional driver technical and first aid training and certification to ensure that those who have signed up are exposed and commit to the strict safety requirements. “We want to bridge this crucial gap by reinforcing the need for Taxify Boda drivers to have this training and certification”, said Anoke.
Taxify will work closely with National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) officials and Kenya Police Service to enforce the safety guidelines.
Interested riders will be required to use motorcycles whose earliest year of manufacture is 2015. They will also need Public Service Vehicle (PSV) insurance, two reflective jackets and two helmets.
The drivers will also undergo thorough verification before being accepted by Taxify. “The system we have in place enables us to carry out thorough background checks in partnership with the NTSA and the Kenya Police Service”, said Anoke
Drivers who are found to have contravened the rules will be automatically blocked based on the passenger ratings. If necessary, the cases will be escalated to the safety and police authorities for further disciplinary action.
Taxify is one of Europe’s leading ride-sharing platforms, connecting millions of riders and drivers around the world to make travel easier, quicker and more reliable.
Founded by Markus Villig, Taxify launched in 2013, with a focus on Europe and Africa. Since 2017, Taxify has been involved in a strategic partnership with Didi Chuxing, the world’s leading mobile transportation platform.
Taxify has more than 5 million customers in over 20 countries globally. Taxify launched in Kenya in the beginning of 2017 and operates in Nairobi and Mombasa.