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E-hailing taxi firm Little plans Tanzania venture

Kamal Budhabhatti
Kamal Budhabhatti, founder of Craftsilicon, Little’s parent company. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Local e-hailing taxi firm Little has unveiled a mass transport service that will enable commuters in Nairobi to book seats on minibuses plying various city routes.

The company’s new mass transport service, dubbed Little Shuttle, will ply the Kahawa Sukari to Westlands, Bomas to the CBD via Upper Hill, and Kinoo to South B routes before expanding to other parts of the capital.

The launch follows Little’s pilot on the Kangemi to NextGen route last December.

Little Shuttle allows riders to book a seat and board its 33-seater minibuses at specific times, starting 6:45am on week days, with a frequency of every two hours.

The new service is targeted at riders who would otherwise use their personal cars to move around the city.

“I am glad to inform you that we have now launched Little Shuttle. At the press of a button, you can book a shuttle that is clean and safe, a shuttle without hassle, exactly how an ideal mass transport should be,” said Kamal Budhabhatti, founder of Craftsilicon, Little’s parent company.

Users can book the shuttle through the normal Little taxi-hailing app. Currently, riders are booking the rides at no fee but rates are expected to be 10 to 15 per cent higher than the normal commuter fare depending on the route, said Budhabhatti.

“Currently the frequency of these shuttles is every two hours, starting from 6.45am on week days. However, with time, we will be adding more shuttles on these routes as well as open over 10 new routes. On Sundays we will be on routes that will take you to your church and back,” said Mr Budhabhatti.

In November, Uber announced plans to launch a similar service within Nairobi once tests on the product in Egypt and Mexico prove successful.

Meanwhile the taxi firm has also announced plans to enter the Tanzanian market before the end of February.

Little services are already available in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.

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