SWVL intends to introduce dynamic pricing in its Kenyan business. In future, the bus-hailing service plans to charge a different fares for its various drop off points.
The dynamic pricing will feature distance and time in pricing; just like other ride-hailing services. This addition might suit a Kenyan commuter who wishes to enjoy SWVL’s convenience and comfort for short distances.
Now, the service charges Kshs. 200 for any destination along its 55 routes in Nairobi; which is approximately 30-40% of what an average cab-hailing services charge.
Dynamic pricing will further the company’s agenda to provide a premium commute experience at an affordable price. SWVL will disrupt Nairobi’s Matatu culture, offering safety, reliability, and a premium experience.
For instance, the app allows riders to track how far their bus is and therefore plan how soon they will go to a pick-up point. Furthermore, customers receive refunds in case a bus misses their route after booking.
Shivachi Muleji, SWVL Kenya’s General Manager, said the company offers insurance for its riders. At the same time, SWVL has partnered with Flare to provide emergency rescue services to commuters.
The bus-hailing company also intends to increase its routes around Nairobi based on data emanating from customer geotags and direct request from riders. The expansion will allow it to reach the 3 million commuters who travel within Nairobi every day.
SWVL was started in 2017 to provide reliable commute services in emerging markets. The company launched in Nairobi in January 2019 with four routes upon entry and is continuously establishing new routes to grow its rider base.
The pioneer routes included Mombasa Road, Langata Road, Kiambu Road and Ngong Road. At the moment, its services are limited within Nairobi. However, Mr Muleji pointed out the intention to expand routes connecting Nairobi to other destinations based on its demand.
Bus hailing services might change how the Kenyan transport sector by reducing traffic jam as they can ferry more people at a time as compared to cars. Coupled with perks like convenience and comfort, companies like SWVL might encourage people to adopt public transport over buying cars.