Technology and Public Transit In Kenya


#1

In light of today’s events and recent times as well as my personal experiences with local public transit in cities like Mombasa,Kisumu and Nairobi.I have been spending a lot of time lately looking into one aspect that is IT’s disruption of the taxi business for the last 5 years…I know we have threads for uber,little and taxify here but i would like to hear members thoughts on the coming wave that is going to disrupt the matatu business and its implications…With new players like safiriexpress doing trials and Companies like Uber and Little contemplating diving into this multi-billion shilling industry,we have to admit that efficiency is coming whether we like it or not and technology is going to deliver that one way or another…With Uber,little and taxify now incorporating boda bodas in their transport options,its safe to say the boda boda industry has already started to experience true disruption underneath its feet.This leaves matatu’s as the last bastion to face the coming disruption and its gonna be really ugly.Truth is matatus arent going to die anytime soon,but recent events show something interesting is coming.


#2

To give some context,we have a lot of public transport users who have smartphones in this city,i estimate 50% of public transport users in this city at any one given time have their smartphones with them…We already know publicly as of uber data of 2017 that they had over 300,000 uber users in kenya,surely the number has since doubled i bet considering new products like the popular Uber chapchap and will rise further with the bodaboda product.So lets say for example Uber Kenya with the help of its deep pocketed parent in the US,decides to start a carpool service/bus product,then use every available marketing means/strategies(brilliant ones) including its own app to push for adoption within its existing local user base while offering free rides and discounts to drive daily usage/engagement in Nairobi to new users over a period of 6 months with a strategy to capture marketshare over the next 3/4 years.I would bet that the entire matatu industry as we know it would be so upended in such a way that this disruption could lead to either of two outcomes,Emergency reforms through executive action by legislative bodies as the effects of the disruption kick in…or we could have another situation where an existing local technology player like little or mara moja or a new player e.t.c with deep investor pockets will be sharing the spoils of the market…i.e consolidation of existing matatu saccos to form a big company to compete with Uber Kenya essentially…If current industry stakeholders dont take affirmative action now,we are looking at radical measure taken later by vested interests to protect themselves against the onslaught that will be brought about by the new players offering better services to customers.


#3

Can you guys lessen the reading strain by using paragraphs… with double space… ? please :blush: