When the government issues a directive that all public service vehicles should slash the number of passengers they carry to half, matatu operators have been forced to double fare so as to meet the daily targets, amid COVID-19 crisis.
In an economy that is suffocating from a deadly virus whose cure is yet to be found, commuters are the worst placed with the pandemic that has adversely affected the transport sector. To help commuters who cannot refrain from travelling, SWVL will be providing services to cover the areas where there is the most demand for necessary commutes during this time of crisis for free.
Commuters that must travel for essential work can use the free ride service by using the HERE4YOU promotional code and free rides will also be reflected in the SWVL app. SWVL has also adopted new measures to operate in line with the directives issued in regards to public transport.
“As a Kenyan company, we want to ensure we are here to help and support our fellow Kenyans during this very difficult time for our country. We will continue to operate on as many high-traffic routes as possible, to enable people to shop for food supplies and continue other essential travel, particularly for those in critically needed jobs at this time. Users will receive a notification of these routes via our app. We support the measures being put in place by the government and encourage our users to stay home and avoid non-essential commuting when they can,” said SWVL Kenya General Manager, Dip Patel.
To limit the number of passengers per vehicle, SWVL will cap each vehicle’s booking capacity at 60% to ensure that there will be enough space for social distancing in each vehicle and prevent crowding. Additionally, all vehicles are encouraged to maintain an open window policy to aid in decreasing the risk of contracting the virus on the commute and hand sanitizers will also be made available to bus operators for their passengers. Passengers have been encouraged to make use of their in-app wallet, whenever needed, as a cashless payment option for their trips by loading money into their wallet through M-Pesa.