Kenya’s SWVL transport firm finally gets the nod
After months of conflict, on-demand mass transport company, SWVL has finally been given the green light on compliance from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).
The company clashed with the regulator over accusations of non-compliance with public transport license criteria - the same accusation was levelled at Little Shuttle and halted its operations.
SWVL Kenya General Manager Dip Patel said: “We have continued to engage with the NTSA to arrive at a framework that will support technology enabled transport solutions and take Kenya to the next level. This is because, at the end of the day, our goals are the same. We both endeavour to develop an efficient transportation system for commuters, that is safe, reliable, convenient and affordable.”
He added: “We are excited to be able to continue our operations and we are very pleased about the consideration of the regulatory framework to incorporate technological developments coming up in the industry.”
The NTSA said it has no objection to SWVL providing digital vehicle hailing services as long as they comply with its guidelines.
SWVL Kenya is looking to up its business post-COVID-19 by restarting its passenger bus service and using this network to distribute food and medical supplies to various hospitals and medical centres.
A statement from the company reads: “The company has currently paused all its rides due to the pandemic situation, however it is very ready to resume operations again once an exit date is confirmed for the current pandemic lockdown. Post lockdown, SWVL will begin onboarding existing bus owners and public transport Saccos, in their bid to benefit the entire ecosystem with a more inclusive approach.”
It also has plans to grow its corporate transport services.
Digital hailing services have become important in the COVID-19 restrictions. Little Cab has introduced new services on its app, including food delivery and airtime purchase, to ensure as little physical contact as possible to curb the spread of the virus.
The company has also introduced shortcuts as part of its airport transfer service, once air travel resumes.