App Based Mass Transit Solutions coming up in 2019,Your thoughts?

Met with Little Shuttle’s too last week on Thursday when coming from shags. I was not seated in a strategic place to take a photo. It was long Waiyaki Way at around 5pm.

Booked and boarded SWVL yesterday from the CBD to Rongai. Here’s my experience

Booking the bus on the app was quite straightforward and didn’t get any hitches.
The bus arrived around 30 minutes late coz of the evening traffic. However, after the trip there’s some compensation I was awarded that expires tomorrow, which I thought was good, though won’t be using the app till Monday.

I found the tracking feature quite useful when waiting for the bus coz you can see where the bus is while waiting and thus you are more patient.

The coaster bus was quite comfortable and the driver drove well

Best of all, used the Valentine’s “lovebus” code and paid 20bob to Rongai :joy:

On arrival I talked with the driver a bit and he told me that they are paid well and on time. Apparently the company rents the buses from the drivers and there is an extra compensation if your bus gets the SWVL branding and all.

Overall I liked it. They should just add an option to load credits via MPESA. But I’ll definitely be using this more often


I had an excellent trip yesterday and going on one tomorrow (1.00 pm scheduled trip Rongai - Upper Hill - CBD - Westlands).

I will not duplicate what @iamtembo has already documented but here are some of the observations …

  • The bus makes all stops. I am sceptical that there were people who had booked a ride on every stop. It may be Swvl testing out it’s software …
  • The bus was on time. Though it was the middle of day a low traffic peek time with exception of the CBD of course …Will try to book a high peek trip tomorrow …

So i finally got to try out the little shuttle on the saturday shopping route from TMall to ViMa at 10am and back at 2pm…The following was my experience:

-No WiFi provided in the shuttle

-Shuttle tracking works on the app

-Shuttle time estimate works relatively okay

-Shuttle is clean and comfortable

-Check-In Experience was different,the hostess scans QR Code when bus has left the stop and not at the entrance

-Shuttle has a driver and a female hostess

-Hostess calls you when the trip begins

-The app booking experience still feels blocky with errors and pixelation on the maps section of the app

-Integration with Google maps was great esp with the added Google live traffic feature.

-Shuttle is a Toyota coaster which is well padded

-No neck pillows


Tried both Little Shuttle Today and ended up taking neither…
Called and talked to both captains and all had like 1 hour plus delay, so i ended up cancelling both and hopping into the nearest Matatu.

I have tried to book a shuttle on Little Shuttle and could not get a time …The route, pickup and drop can be filled but no time …:anguished:

I find the interface for Little Shuttle better and easier to use especially on route selection, than the Swvl one.

I hope they(Swvl) will rethink their interface …what will it be like looking for your route as they add more routes …

I genuinely thought asking for your location was part of a flow of narrowing down your routes and giving you directions to the pickup station(already done) …

My opinion is little shuttle’s UI is shit…Swvl’s is way better but it could use some more work.

Have given up on Little. Almost impossible to know where the Bus you Booked is at…

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I have seen such behaviour with Swvl but only when the bus is late …the bus icon disappears on the map.

In the first days I used to panic as I thought my trip was cancelled …

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But you gotta admit,Swvl are way better than little…esp on the bus service,its comfort and the way the app is visually more aesthetically better than little shuttle.

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Beauty is in the eyes of the Beeholder …

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Observations of the start of the week(a bit of a rant) …

#Swvl IMO must have a better plan. The strategy of trips following one another is pretty bad. An example is today. The 9.00 am bus developed a problem, there was traffic in the morning which led to a delay of close to 45 mins.

This is exacerbated by the fact that this trips are ‘static’ …i.e the bus that starts trips at 6.15 am will be the one for 9.00 am, 1.00 pm etc …

From conversations with drivers who have been on the route for close to a month(I know them its not heresay) they propose vehicles to alternate…i.e a vehicle on a route like Westlands-CBD-UpperHill-Ongata-Rongai one starts in Westlands and the other from Ongata-Rongai.

My opinion would be to utilise a traffic api(I don’t think it would cost-friendly to use Google api’s)if they are not using one currently to get live readings that would not only be used for routing but also for the feedback to customers of a trip(e.g announcement of delays etc.).

I have also heard from people complaining that the bus disappears from the map(when it’s late) and it is hectic when you are called by the driver when the bus is late.

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Swvl has been having challenges with its ETA’s they need to really think about how to optimize with Nairobi traffic especially now that they are adding more routes and buses…Like dynamically re-assigning you to the closest bus manenos,they could also gain from integrating the google live traffic feature on the passenger app so you can see if the shuttle bus enroute is stuck in traffic or nah…also they need to improve the payment experience,the swvl wallet is useful but it would be great if i could top it up via paybill or lipa na mpesa instead of relying on the captains for it…I been ranting also a bit on Swvl but i believe they are working on these issues and trying to improve unlike their current competitors/rivals…

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An issue regarding #swvl in past was when the bus is late you could not see where the bus was. Which I think had been resulting to a lot of calls to drivers in such events. It is welcome that you can see where the bus is when it is late. However the new issue is the trip gets placed in “missed” in your past trips then back to your upcoming when the late bus has arrived at your stop.

I agree as well on that,its something i have observed.I also wish that they can add the google maps traffic overlay on the existing map that shows the movement of the shuttle towards your stop so that when you see the shuttle showing on one spot for a long time you can know if it is traffic related on not so one can make a judgement call on whether to cancel the trip or not…It will also help reduce the number of calls drivers get when late and still enroute to the pickup point as it will help users understand that traffic is delaying or stopping their shuttle bus from arriving on time so they can be more patient.

Is it safe to say that we already moved on from BRT,now that the Govt and its matatu cronies have failed to sort out their differences…Its already end of April and there is still no BRT infrastructure,information or bus service operating or showing signs.I think for most of us Swvl Kenya and Little Shuttle got us covered so good especially on the main routes…The Public Transit Market in Nairobi and other major towns is too big for any single player but Disruption has already began…

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Swvl better not go beyond 100 bob ntarudi kwa matatu

LOL check the trip fares even though #swvl has loaded your account with 1000 /=. It’s normally 2X. Hio 200 lazima utatoa …:grimacing:

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