Egyptian firm SWVL grows city bus routes, eyes launch


SWVL Kenya managing director Shivachi Muleji. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Egyptian start-up app-based shuttle service SWVL has grown its route offerings since January debut to 55 destinations in Nairobi, as it embarks on an aggressive growth plan in its quest to tap to the local mass transport sector.

The service, which began its pilot in Kenya with 26-seater buses, is set to end the trial and launch in the local market at the end of August.

The app-based service allows users to book trips using their mobile devices, which notifies them of the nearest pick-up point, price and time by the bus.

The firm says its popular routes include Ruiru to the CBD/Upper Hill, Karen to CBD/Westlands via Upper Hill, Ongata Rongai to Westlands/CBD via Upper Hill, Ruiru to Westlands, Ndenderu to CBD/ Upper Hill, and Kikuyu to CBD/ Upper Hill.

“We add about five different routes every week. SWVL has people on the ground who are tasked with growing the number of routes and enrolling new buses,” said Kenya Managing Director Shivachi Muleji.

SWVL is set to also start charging riders boarding the buses per kilometre travelled and minutes spent — as the firm moves away from the Sh200 flat rate fee for all destinations.