Will Taxi-Apps Help Tackle Africa’s Transport Chaos?
From BBC via Homecoming Revolution
Not only is the transport sector in much of Africa similarly chaotic, it is also notoriously dangerous – Africa has the highest rate of road traffic fatalities in the world, accounting for 16% of the world’s road traffic deaths, despite being home to only 2% of the world’s vehicles.
Compared to the global average of 18 road traffic deaths per 100,000 members of the population, the region sees an average of 24.1 deaths for each 100,000 people – a significantly higher figure.
A rising number of young start-ups are working to make sense of the madness, creating new technology-based solutions to simplify transportation in African cities, and improve safety.
Taxi-hailing in Nairobi
While taxi app Uber is rushing to launch in Africa, taxi-hailing technology is already popular in Kenya, tapping into the country’s famous love of novel mobile solutions.
According to Lauren Gray, marketing director at local mobile taxi-hailing service Easy Taxi, innovative uses of technology are key to improving the taxi-transportation market in Kenya.
In particular, Ms Gray says technology can better connect consumers with reliable, safe services, and ensure heightened accountability within the market.
“Technology allows for greater monitoring within the taxi transportation market. This is beneficial for the end consumer, as higher quality services are guaranteed and services are brought to consumers with both transparency and accountability,” she says.
By using mobile technology, Ms Gray says the lack of reliable transportation in Nairobi can be addressed, and security can be improved – a key concern in Kenya.
“Customers [in Nairobi] have become used to knowing that if they need a driver to take them to a destination, it would need to be planned hours in advance and require calling multiple drivers to see who is available, who is nearby, and who will charge the lowest price,” she says.
Read more at Homecoming Revolution