Taxi hailing company, Little, has finally launched its pilot Little Shuttle ride service in Nairobi. The service is meant to cater for people who would like to ride in comfort in shared rides on a bus. The service kicked off today with free rides to commuters on selected routes. This is how the shuttle service works:
Booking the service
- You must have the Little App on your mobile device.
- When you update the app, it will bring you an option for Little Shuttle. Select this option.
- Once you have selected the Little Shuttle option, enter your pick-up point.
- Enter your drop off point.
- Hail the Little Shuttle bus and wait. You will receive a unique code for your ride. The app will also show you how far the bus is.
- When the bus arrives at your pick-up point, the driver will be notified.
- You will then scan your code with the driver before you are allowed to enter the bus.
- The driver will be notified once you reach your drop off point too.
The Little Shuttle service kicked of with three routes at the moment. They are named after fruits namely Apple Route, Avocado Route, and Lemon Route.
- Apple Route operates from Kahawa Sukari to Westlands through Ngara and back.
- Avocado Route operates from Bomas to the CBD through Upperhill and back.
- Lemon Route operates from Kinoo to South B through the CBD and back.
Frequency of operation
The shuttle starts its service at 0645am every day during weekdays. It is not clear what time they will start operating on Saturdays and Sundays even though they will be operational.
The Little Shuttle expects to be on your route every two hours to and fro a given direction. Each of the routes mentioned currently have two buses but the company expects to add more buses and routes once the piloting is considered successful.
According to the CEO of Little, Kamal Budhabhatti, the piloting for the Little Shuttle will take place the whole of February 2019. During this time, the shuttle will offer free rides to consumers with an aim of getting feedback on various issues.
The Little Shuttle service comes at a time when there are many challenges in the public transport industry. The government is facing challenges introducing the BRT mass transport system which is meant to tame the matatu industry gone rogue. The buses introduced by Little are however small capacity and may not be able to cope with sharp demand if proven successful. It will be a matter of time also for feedback to come in in terms of fare rates for Little, but it could be a fare price if you are used to hailing taxis and traveling in comfort.