Safaricom-backed Little launches taxi services in Kisumu


Safaricom head of commercial operations Fred Kio (centre) flanked by Kisumu county executive for ICT Michael Onyango (left) and Craft Silicon chairman Kamal Budhabhatti in Kisumu on Tuesday. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM-backed online taxi hailing firm Little has launched operations in Kisumu in a move expected to benefit residents of Kenya’s third-largest city with cheaper cab services.

For the next three months, Little customers will pay discounted rates — of Sh25 per kilometre —while using the Little taxis. The residents will also get free Wi-Fi services while onboard.

Safaricom’s head of commercial operations Fred Kio on Tuesday said Little has set a target to “transform and sanitise” taxi business in the lakeside city.

Besides Nairobi and Kisumu, Little is also available in Mombasa with a planned launch in Eldoret and Nakuru before the end of this year.

The introduction of Little and Uber services in Kenya has met some resistance from the traditional taxi services, a fact that the Safaricom-backed operator is alive to as it launches in Kisumu.

“We are not coming to stop the traditional taxi business in Kisumu. We want to show them the value of partnering with Safaricom. We are giving them an opportunity to get into areas the drivers never used to go by connecting them to the corporate world,” said Mr Kio.

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He indicated that already 60 cab drivers have registered for the initiative but the target is 300. 

“In the next one week we will communicate the official tariff. Whatever price we will charge should make a lot of sense to the taxi driver and make economic sense to the consumer,” he said.

“Despite operating in a highly competitive environment, we have had a steady growth of the service. Our expansion plan has been driven by demand from customers and we wish to see other regions enjoy Little,” said Craft Silicon chairman Kamal Budhabhatti.