Little launching Electric bus shuttle service,your thoughts?

So Techweez just reported that Little intend to launch an electric bus shuttle service in Nairobi…probably as a pilot,along certain routes…See article…

In reference to previous discussions on Uberpool and possible disruption of the entire local matatu/public bus industry beckoning,little,in partnership with a serious investor with the right strategy and financial muscle can upend the entire public transport industry and petroleum industry,charging stations replacing petrol stations…little,taxify and uber have reached a critical mass in the city with existing user engagement currently on a weekly or monthly basis…such a service will enhance engagement to an hourly/daily engagement with potential of making millions in revenue on a daily basis…All e-hailing services are already PSV compliant and there is very little legistlation or none that can stop them from taking over…All they need is enough buses,marketing power and infrastructure plus cash to burn for a period to grab marketshare from traditional players…What do you guys think? would you use such a bus if it was available in your area? what do you think the experience would be like?

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Considering almost 3 of every 7 public transport users in this city have a smartphone capable of accomodating the app,users can schedule their daily commute including having the respective fares charged on their cards/mpesa…extra services,like wifi,food and drinks,adequate legroom/sitting area can be monetized…Monthly,weekly and daily tickets can be sold on the app,Tax authorities can have actual credible data and revenues from the app,per user,per duration thus shed light on revenues for the entire industry.Quality standards on public service vehicles will improve as various providers will seek to improve user experiences and charge them at a premium depending on the demographic…overall such data can inform decision making on infrastructure and various transport needs in Nairobi and maybe other towns in the future…


I’m quite optimistic about this. It will surely change a lot of things but only if Kenyans are willing to make the effort to adapt

The way I see it working is hailing a bus then gets you to select the type of bus you want, the time you wish to travel and the pick-up location. This means you don’t waste time at the bus stop, and get there when the bus is nearby for pick-up. No struggles to get on a bus, since even if you didn’t select the seat number, you are assured of a seat (some sanity), then there is an audit trail, if anything happened to you in the bus it’s easy to report and follow up.

What is not coming out properly is that Little may just implement the digital payments the Uber way and that may become mainstream, beating previous attempts by government and players like Safaricom and Google. This will essentially mean that buses have less need to stay parked at the bus stops waiting for passengers, thus reducing traffic. This also makes a case for long haul buses as opposed to ten small buses/vans.

Now the other thing that comes with this is the introduction of electric vehicles in Nairobi, accompanied by commercialization of electric charging stations. Once public service buses make the case for electric cars you will see entry of Nissan Leaf and other small electric cars among the middle class. We can also dream of these being powered by Solar.

Big dreams.


I agree Martin,the thing is well anything can happen…just three years ago Uber was non existent in the local taxi market,traditional players were exploiting consumers…then in two years Uber and little had already captured 90% of the corporate and consumer taxi market locally…thing is disruption is very possible. it may not seem like it but all the ingredients are there for this to happen to traditional public transport operators…electric cars and buses may be a long stretch but who knows…

This never happened, huh?

Yep,apparently it hasnt…And Sure Corp are yet to commence their proposed safiri express…I think either these projects have already been shelved or at the planning stages…

This is a really nice conceptualization.

This would be a big win< I have seen many people try the non smart way by having buses or matatus that pick and drop you from home to town and back, problem is it assumes everyone leaves work or home at the same time.
A smart bus would let users know where and when the bus will be at a certain time and maybe also for the driver to know if a user saying they are nearby to gauge on whether to wait or leave.

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Which are these 16 seater cars that are licensed as PSVs? Didn’t Nairobi limit the lowest number for matatus to 33 seaters, or this would be a a new provision?

Uber can practically roll this out,they already have the customer base,they are just looking at their data locally and in their pilots in egypt while working out how to enter the local market…

I was reading this thread thinking It’s a new thing kumbe ni kitu isha fail :thinking:

Kitu isha fail? :rofl:

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When was it tested and how did it fail? This seems like a very practical solution. A startup around this will definitely work but it has to be alongside the current PSV saccos. I mean who wouldn’t want to book a seat on the morning bus before getting out of bed and also knowing a bus is waiting in the evening so you chuck from the office at the right time?

Well, ask BuuPass when they were still MagicBus and they will tell you this doesn’t work.
Before such an idea can work, a lot has to change with the current situation of matatus. At this very moment, there are variables you cannot predict.

What happens when the may you booked is impounded by cops?

What happens when the driver suddenly decides to change route to avoid traffic?

How do you guarantee they won’t give out your seat when they stop at the next stage?

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I think how they started out is the problem, not the idea.

If you got it to be a subscription sort of service at first it would work. Get 1-4 buses dedicated to the app. Sign up users on the same route for testing. Have the buses leave the same stop in intervals of 15 minutes say between 6 am and 7 am. The users to book the bus in advance with choices being by the 15-minute intervals. Users have to walk to the bus stop as they normally would only that this time they are sure there is a bus waiting. A warning message pops up a minute before the bus leaves.That has sorted the morning hustle. Do the same for the evening. If it is convenient enough more people will want to join. It can then be scaled up to cover the whole day and more routes and even in-between pickups. Tell me this doesn’t make sense.

i agree…this thing has to be started out on a small scale,5 buses at most,focus on specific neighbourhoods/areas…test out ideas,work out bugs and kinks,onboard…then let it take off organically and scale…the aim should not be to make profits in the short term,focus should be on the customer experience and taking marketshare…

Lets admit it … the city needs to rethink and rebuild public infra …How can a journey e.g NRB-MIGORI take 8-9 hrs and for the bus to enter the stage/terminus it takes 2-3 hrs?

We dont need an entire rebuild,we just need a phased coordinated implementation of certain Public transport projects,truth is,the city has enough roads as we speak…The NCC and National Govt has had decade old plans which are just collecting dust,even revised ones but still we doing nothing…I dont think our traffic problems will be solved by the current Govt,i feel it lacks the political will to enact and enforce the necessary policies…th BRT project is already failed,there is no light rail plan being rolled out,Govt has been in planning stages for these things for the last 8 years,its time we just forget that they can drive the needed change…

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