Boda-Boda: improving informal transport in Kenya
In Kenya there is a vivid is motorcycle taxi industry, the so-called Boda-Bodas. This informal way of transportation is affordable and quick, but also has a negative image. How can this image be reversed and the income of Boda-Boda drivers be increased?
The informal transport sector is very important for the least educated people to find income, but the Boda-Bodas are not regarded as user-friendly to customers. Due to user-unfriendly behaviour towards customers and the poor driving skills of the taxi drivers, Boda-Bodas are considered as unsafe. This results in fewer people making use of Boda-Bodas, and so in a loss of income for the drivers. Furthermore, the Boda Boda system is inefficient. A lot of Boda-Boda drivers are waiting about 50 percent of their time for customers.
To solve the problem of Boda-Bodas, Beeinnovations is developing a service product called Twende. This is a smart phone application which gives drivers positive incentives to show user-friendly behaviour towards customers, and so helps them to attract more customers and increase their income. Customers can rate drivers in the way they drive and how they treat their customers. In this way, drivers are encouraged to show customer-friendly behaviour and to improve their driving skills. To be part of the platform, Boda-Boda drivers need to follow a training and meet certain criteria, e.g. having a drivers licence. The training is set up and will be given by a local organisation. To stimulate good performance, drivers can receive a bonus if they get good ratings.
What we need
- The main challenge is how to launch and market the app. For the app to work, there needs to be a balance in the number of Boda-Boda drivers and the number of customers. We would like to use a word-of-mouth marketing strategy. Advice on these topics would be helpful.
- If you have valuable contacts in Kenya for us in the private or the public sector, this would be very helpful to help build our business in Kenya.
- If you have experience with an IT product in a developing country, we would love to hear from you.
- Also we are looking for investors and funds to further develop the app and platform.