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

Little Shuttle aint far off and CIO africa have noted the trend based on their new article posted yesterday…

My daily commute in this city has been so frustrating this last year that its gotten to a point where i just want this to work.

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My trip is expected from 10am. Price is 150 bob to town, which is offpeak time that should get me a 50 bob fare. But we shall see.

have you added the promo code “Karibu” to get a free ride worth Ksh 150 bob btw? Either way…lets see how the experience is…Keep us updated,i have booked an evening trip from CBD so i am eager to know how it works

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Here are my findings, I’ll add anything I missed below:

  • I did add the promo code, so my trip was free.
  • The driver asked me which area I’d like to be dropped, and he dropped me on Koinange street.
  • He arrived at the time the app said he would, dropped me at the same time it said he would.
  • The bus is a Coaster, the tourist types.
  • Soon as he nears a stop, he pings the app to query if there is a passenger.
  • Then passes the stop if there is none.
  • Speed is 60Kph average
  • They launched 5 days ago, and driver tells me he’s been doing empty trips, but will get paid anyway, so he’s okay.
  • They have 5 buses on Thika road.

Well,it makes sense considering they have done no advertising so far,they havent even officially launched.I understand they are in the midst of preparing to launch esp considering one of my friends who did an ad for them is mum about them citing NDA’s…Once they launch,the buses will fill up slowly…Hmmm Toyota Coaster,sounds comfortable…The stop thing sounds efficient,the speed feels a bit acceptable,5 days ago…hmmmm well i guess thats interesting…5 buses is a good start,then they can scale up over time…

they need to find a way to target the uber/taxify users in their advertising,those are the most likely ones to pick up the service faster

I would have tried it out tomorrow - Saturday but at the moment it seems they are only operating on weekdays …

I hope they get feedback specifically on the way I(people) make trips. For an #uber/#taxify it’s fine for a choose a destination from your current location but for a mass transit I don’t think so.

I have not seen an indication that the search bar “where to” gives you narrowed-down/focused list of specific available trips from the current area you are in.

I do hope that’s the behaviour of the app’s interaction.

I might be wrong …Somebody clarify if it’s not the case.

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So My trip went well,My findings are:

1.Yep,its toyota coaster everyone and a bunch of them
2.Swvl team chose the buses themselves
3.They are planning to launch Monday this coming week
4.The payment module needs work
5.The app is a bit buggy
6.Customer support is great but still needs work in resolving issues faster
7.Swvl are using a tour bus services company to run the initial pilot


Update: the Karibu promo code is available for use for the whole week.

thanks Martin,i guess my transport for the whole week is sorted out.I think now is the time they start onboarding and doing the actual testing of the logistics n stuff.

I tried this out today and my trip went well as well. Was the only passenger in the bus, the driver told me most of the other drivers are yet to ferry a single passenger so far. No need to repeat all that has been said as it’s all true. Looks like the karibu code is not only for the first ride and you can get free rides all of this week so if you have a spare hour you can hop on the bus and then hop on the return bus all for free. The code also applies to your plus one.


Just a couple of minutes ago I received a text that the free rides are for 2 weeks(This week and probably next week?) … didn’t know that.

Also Rongai-CBD and Ruiru-CBD route are added but don’t currently show in the app …

Yep,the free rides are for 2 weeks it seems under the promo code " karibu" however i have noted that the trips are limited to 10 trips and max out on a payment method i.e cash the promo code seems not to take effect and even if you have added a payment method it doesnt seem to show up as an option you can select during the booking process.Those issues/bugs and other issues i have noticed with the app and i have captured them and sent an email to the swvl helpdesk team to look into and revert if possible.Good thing they are very responsive.Also guys make an effort to ensure your Swvl app is up to date/latest from the playstore coz some of these issues have or are being resolved and rolled out in the latest updates.Otherwise the rides have been great.On some routes like langata one be getting free chocolate bars and also they seem to compensate with cash in swvl wallet (Ksh 20) when they notice you experience a bus delay.I believe they are still refining their local policies and working out to resolve bugs hence the extended time period for the free rides,lets make the most out of them and give the team as much feedback as we can.


So the Swvl team has added an extra week to the promo code,take this chance to try them out on their respective routes,give feedback,rate them on google play…make those free rides count.

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Another week of free commute underway,swvl keeps improving their commute experience…app is still buggy but is improving by the day

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Swvl are now live on the Waiyaki Way route…From UoN kikuyu Campus-Gitaru-Regen-Westlands-CBD…check them out,those along the route,try them out.


I’ve booked a trip for tomorrow but the app doesn’t show details of the bus… How do I know it’s the one?

try signing out and signing back in…