Egyptian start-up app-based shuttle service SWVL has launched long distance trips, as the firm seeks growth in new business areas.
On Wednesday, the bus hailing firm added Eldoret to its list of routes outside of the capital city. During the Christmas period, SWVL launched trips to Naivasha, Meru and Nakuru.
“Long distance travel is a viable business segment for us and you will see a lot more investment into it as we get into this year,” said SWVL general manager Shivachi Muleji.
Commuters moving from Nairobi to Eldoret will pay Sh1,200 while those traveling to Nakuru or Naivasha from Nairobi will part with Sh1,000.
“When you think about the level of travel between Nairobi and Nakuru, for example, on a daily basis, you start to see why we would invest in it. Our core market will always remain the Nairobi commuter, but we will seek growth in new business areas,” Mr Muleji added.
SWVL has also added to its earlier 55 routes; Ruai, Kiserian and Ngong.
In October, the firm had its services suspended over what the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) termed as illegal operations.
In a statement, then NTSA director general Francis Meja said SWVL and Little Shuttle were operating without the required PSV licenses. Instead, the companies were operating using Tours Service License (TSL).
“The vehicles under these hailing app companies have acquired Tours Service License (TSL) but are engaging in commuter service within Nairobi therefore contravening the terms of the Tour Service License (TSL),” said Meja.
When launching it’s services back in August, the firm announced plans to inject Sh1.5 billion into the Kenyan market.
“There is a big opportunity in Nairobi for us to create a mass transit system for the middle class and the Sh1.5 billion investment will go into setting up the infrastructure and networks to make it happen,” said SWVL Co-founder and Chief Executive Mostafa Kandil.