Following the Covid-19 scourge and the ever increasing cases in Kenya, several measures have been put in place by the Government to try and curb the spread of the virus. These include reducing passenger capacity to ensure distancing is observed within the matatu, mandatory wearing of masks for both crew and passengers and ensuring each passenger is sanitized upon boarding the matatu. Policemen have also been deployed to help enforce these measures.
To boost these efforts, we at MyRide Africa took it upon ourselves to join the battle by using our creativity, technical know-how and domain expertise in public transportation to help fight this menace.
We introduced the passenger manifest feature to be used by crew for quick commuter check-ins into their matatus and reinforced the trips feature for use by commuters for personal record keeping.
Overview of Features that are useful for the fight against Covid-19
1. Passenger Manifest
The conductor records the ID number or Phone number of each passenger whenever they board the vehicle. This information can be saved for a number of days, and can be accessed by the government for Contact Tracing when required.
The Passenger Manifest Feature.
2. Travel History
The commuter self-records their commute details. They can also easily initiate Mpesa payment from the app. This was originally built to help the commuter to keep a record of their trip details, the collected data can be used to track their potential exposure to Covid19 through public transport.
The Travel History Feature.
These features provide the following benefits to the various stakeholders in the public transport industry during this fight against Covid19 and beyond;
Benefits to Government
- Can track potential close contacts of Covid19-positive cases that have used matatus and the vehicles they used.
- Improves oversight capabilities over the PSV transport system during this period
- Access to actionable passenger feedback
Benefits for Commuters
- Get to wait for and take their favorite matatus
- Can track all the trips taken and the cost
- Can book middle to long-distance travel
- Can rate and view ratings of various matatus
- Can easily report incidents hence feels safer
Benefits to Matatu Crew
- Can take a quick manifest of everyone entering a matatu
- Can broadcast location to be followed and booked
- Can communicate with users on the app directly in case of an incident
- Drives traffic to well-managed matatus
Other General Features of the App
The app facilitates chatting with other passengers, the matatu crew, the owners and the sacco managers. This is a very effective feedback mechanism for PSVs.
Passengers can rate their rides. These ratings are publicly availed and are used to rank PSVs. This empowers passengers to select the highly rated rides.
Commuters can know the live whereabouts of their favorite matatu (PSV) and wait for them. Matatu crew that build a loyal following around their rides spend less time waiting for passengers, especially during off-peak hours.
This is a directory of trips available to all locations in East Africa. At the moment, we keep up to date contact details of point-persons that can facilitate trip booking.
Commuters can keep a record of their trips. This information is handy in terms of keeping a tally of expenses, and also especially when they forget anything inside the matatu.
Commuters can easily fnd routes and matatu stops all over the city by just searching for their desired destnaton. It also draws the route path and has an option to share the route as text.
The app is absolutely free to download and use and any consultation or training needed by crew or commuters is also available free of charge. Feel free to set up or refer us to a matatu or Sacco in need of this.
MyRide Africa App is available on Google Play. Download it here!
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