The Kenya Taxi Hailing Mobile App Price Comparison Table
So. Earlier today I read in the Daily Nation and Business Daily that Taxify was launching its taxi hailing mobile app in Kenya. I found this somewhat surprising since we now seem to have a deluge of taxi hailing mobile apps in the market which led me to doing this blog post.
Basically, I wanted to better understand what the different pricing details are for ALL the taxi hailing mobile apps in Kenya. This proved to be an interested exercise and I found the media had most of the information I needed but I also had to call a few people who work for the various companies featured in this post. Below is what I was able to put together which is accurate as of June 2016:
|Taxi Hailing Mobile App||Base Rate||Per Kilometre||Per Minute||Zone Rate||Variable|
|Uber||Ksh100.00||Ksh60.00||Ksh4.00||n/a||Price Surge can be 4X regular rate|
|Taxify||Ksh100.00||Ksh50.00||Ksh5.00||n/a||Standard rate is 2X economy rate|
|Mara Moja||n/a||n/a||n/a||Ksh250.00||Works with zones, not distance and/or time|
|Pewin Cabs||n/a||n/a||n/a||Ksh300.00||Works with zones, not distance and/or time|
What Does The Price Comparison Table Tell Us?
- At a glance, the table seems to suggest that Uber is quite possibly the most expensive of the lot. In particular, their surge pricing feature is one that many deride due to the fact it can go as high as four times the usual price. However, in most instances, Uber is always less expensive than regular taxis that you find on every street corner in Nairobi. Uber also has over 1,000 confirmed drivers in Kenya meaning that this makes them the largest taxi hailing mobile app in Kenya at the minute.
- Mondo Ride is marginally less expensive than Uber as all their rates seem identical with the exception of the per kilometre rate which is only 2 shillings cheaper. However, as far as I know, Mondo Ride does NOT do surge pricing like Uber does meaning it could be considerably cheaper from that perspective. Mondo Ride does NOT have as many drivers as Uber (yet?) meaning their service may not be as readily available as Uber in Kenya when you hail one of their rides.
- Little Cabs started testing their Safaricom-backed service a few weeks ago in Kenya and so far the feedback on the mobile app has been less than flattering. That being said, they are a work in progress with the might of the behemoth known as Safaricom behind them so they could scale up rather quickly going forward on this basis alone. In addition, Little Cabs have the benefit of having acquired the now defunct Easy Taxi customer base in Kenya when they closed shop a couple of months ago. In terms of pricing, unlike Uber or Mondo Ride, Little Cabs does NOT charge a base rate and yet their per kilometre rate is cheaper than both Uber and Mondo Ride. Little Cabs also does not (yet?) have a surge pricing rate so lets see if this could come into play down the road as they clearly want to ding Uber!
- Taxify, which launched today in Kenya has the lowest per kilometre rate of all of the previously mentioned taxi hailing mobile apps at only Kes. 50.00 but they do have the highest rate in terms of the per minute rate of Kes. 5.00. In addition, like Uber, they have a standard rate which is double their regular economy rate so this is a form of surge pricing like Uber. Being the latest entrant into the marketplace, time will tell how well Taxify will perform going forward since its very much early days for them.
- Pewin Cabs is more of a traditional corporate taxi service that launched a taxi hailing mobile app earlier this year. Their mobile app service does not use a per kilometre and/or a per minute rate like the others previously mentioned but rather they use ‘zones’ that define the pricing. This is a good thing in some respects in that the rate is always fixed come rain, shine or traffic jams which can be a major factor when using the likes of Uber going by my own experiences. Indeed, the fact that there is no surge pricing could make Pewin Cabs an attractive option for the price sensitive since the least one pays is Kes. 300.00 within a designated zone.
- Mara Moja is one of the older taxi hailing mobile apps in Kenya that launched as early as Easy Taxi did last year as I recall. Mara Moja, like Pewin Cabs, opted to adopt a pricing scheme that uses designated zones in Nairobi instead of pricing based on kilometres and/or minutes. Another interesting aspect is that Mara Moja charges a minimum rate of Kes. 250.00 per zone which is even cheaper than Pewin Cabs which I find impressive. As things stand, Mara Moja seems to be one of the smaller players in this space with all the new international and local competitors coming in this year.