Ride-hailing firm Taxify has launched Taxify Boda in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa.
Shivachi Muleji, Taxify General Manager East Africa said that the firm had developed the new service in response to a growing demand for a safe, organized and reliable motorbike service in the city.
“Rising use of motorcycle riders for public passenger transport is a reality that we have to live with particularly in Mombasa where traffic jams and clogged roads delay movement,” he explained.
Alex Mwaura, Taxify Country Manager Kenya said that Taxify Boda will place a strong emphasis on safety for both the driver and passenger: “The application is able to monitor the behaviour and providing passengers with a platform to immediately share user experience and rate the driver”.
To stimulate demand, the firm is starting off with an attractive offer to passengers, with fares set at Kshs 20 base fare, Kshs 10 per km, Kshs 2 per minute and minimum fare of Kshs 50 per trip. With the conservative estimates that the Taxify Bodas will carry out 100 trips per week, the firm expects each driver to take home Kshs 1,500 gross daily income translating to Kshs 45,000 per month. In addition, Taxify will also be running per trip bonuses to incentivise the drivers.
Mwaura 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.
“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 as 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 motorcycles,” he added.
The firm has also put in place strong measures to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers. It is mandatory for both the rider and the passenger to wear a helmet and a reflective jacket. Nobody except those with disabilities will be allowed to sit facing sideways as the rules only allow passengers to sit astride. Taxify will work closely with Kenya Police Force to enforce the safety guidelines.
Taxify is actively seeking partnerships with firms that are able to provide first responder services to both drivers and riders in case of security or medical emergencies.
For drivers to join the platform, they will need a valid driver’s licence, vehicle insurance, two reflective jackets and two helmets. The latter two will be provided by Taxify with drivers paying for the gear in small instalments.