Taxify, the Estonian rideshare company, backed by Didi, is putting up a new service in Kenya, the Boda Boda rideshare service. Boda Boda is a motorbike rideshare hailing service that is an additional category in their rideshare app.
The Kenyan COO for Taxify, Chisom Anoke stated that the "Rising use of motorcycle riders for public passenger transport is a reality that we have to live with particularly in Nairobi where traffic jams and clogged roads delay movement."
Taxify is starting off their Boda Boda base fare at Sh30 per ride, with an additional Sh15 per kilometer and Sh3 per minute. An average Boda Boda rider will take home around Sh1,500 per day, and that means that they will earn Sh45,000 per month gross income.
Kenyan law stipulates that both driver and rider wear helmets, so the Boda Boda drivers will have to invest in two helmets as well as their bike. The new service takes an already existing transportation service, motorbike riding, and brings it into the 21st Century with connecting it to a smartphone. Many countries in Africa and Asia use motorbike rides to get around cities, as well as providing a cheaper alternative to the residents of low socio-economic incomes as a transport solution. What Taxify has done, is made it a more reachable solution, where locals can now call in a bike rider, rather than go and look for one, which can sometimes take over ten to 15 minutes.
Anoke told the media that "We want to help the motorcycle drivers formalize their businesses by providing them with a platform to track trips, earnings and even plan for personal development initiatives such a saving with a Sacco. Since they are already trying to establish formal groupings, Taxify Boda will greatly raise their operational focus and even eventually make it easier for them to afford to purchase new motorcycles." There is at least 10,000 motorbike rides a day just in Nairobi.
To join the service, drivers will need a motorbike manufactured no more than 3 years old, and a Public Service Vehicle Insurance, they will also need to provide two reflective jackets and helmets. Just as with car drivers, Boda Boda applicants will go through the same screening and verification process.
Anoke said that "The system we have in place enables us to carry out thorough background checks in partnership with the NTSA and the Kenya Police Service."