Kanyesigye KIGALI (Xinhua) -- Motorbike taxi has
gradually become a business hotspot in Rwanda’s capital city
Kigali, but is prone to traffic accidents due to errant
Recognizing the need to address the
rampant taxi motorbike accidents and making safer and convenient
transportation in Kigali, two young technology
entrepreneurs—Peter Kariuki, a Kenyan, and Barrett Nash, a
Canadian, founded SafeMotos, an online motorcycle taxi platform
that connects riders and passengers via the company’s mobile
Launched in Rwanda in 2015 after
participating in an international start-up accelerator,
SafeMotos was conceived as an Uber for African motorcycle taxis
that connect riders and passengers via the company’s mobile
application. Currently, the start-up has more than 3,000 riders
who register in its system.
“The main purpose of coming up with
SafeMotos was to increase the safety of taxi motorbike rides
while providing more convenient and cost effective
transportation to users. A core aspect of the company’s service
is providing safer transportation,” Eric Joseph, Project Manager
at SafeMotos told Xinhua in an interview.
“SafeMotos is an application that
relies on telematic data or sensor readings collected from
motorcycle riders’ smartphones to monitor their driving habits
from average speed to how hard and faster they brake,” Joseph
SafeMotos rates the safety level of
riders through the data analyzed remotely combined with
passenger’s feedback, he said. If a rider was rated below 90
percent, he has to receive sensitization training on qualities
of a motorbike taxi rider before he can resume picking up
passengers through the application, Joseph explained.
He said that a rider will be removed
from the SafeMotos system if he refuses to undergo training.
Apart from safety of the motorbike
rides, the start-up has impacted riders economically because
they are able to get more customers.
“Safemotos has improved our motorcycle
taxi operations. I am able to generate at least 15, 000 Rwandan
francs (about 17 U.S. dollars) a day. Before joining Safemotos,
on average I was getting 8,000 Rwandan francs (about 9 dollars)
daily,” said Emmanuel Habimana, one of the motorists using the
Safemotos application to get passengers.
He said that getting clients is very
easy since he waits for customers’ order via his smartphone
without moving around the city looking for passengers.