Ride-hailing firm Taxify on October 15 launched Taxify Boda, a motorbike service in the coastal city of Mombasa.
Taxify General Manager East Africa Shivachi Muleji, said that the firm had developed the new service in response to a growing demand for a safe, organised and reliable transport services 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 rider and passenger.
“The application is able to monitor the behaviour and provide passengers with a platform to immediately share user experience and rate the rider,” he said.
To stimulate demand, the firm is starting off with an attractive offer to passengers, with fares set at Sh20 base fare, Sh10 per km, Sh2 per minute and minimum fare of Sh50 per trip.
With the conservative estimates that the Taxify Bodas will carry out 100 trips per week, the firm expects each rider to take home Ksh1, 500 gross daily income translating to Sh45,000 per month.
Mr. Mwaura said in addition, Taxify will also be running per trip bonuses as incentivies for the riders.
He 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 riders to 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,” he said.
Mr.Mwaura said, “Since they are already trying to establish formal groupings, Taxify Boda will greatly raise their operational focus and eventually make it easier for them to afford to purchase new motorcycles,”
The firm has also put in place strong measures to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers.
According to the firm, it is now 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 the police to enforce the safety guidelines.The firm is also actively seeking partnerships with organisations that are able to provide first responder services to both riders in case of security or medical emergencies.
For drivers to join the platform, they will need a valid riders license, vehicle insurance, two reflective jackets and two helmets. The latter two will be provided by Taxify with riders paying for the gear in small installments.