TechInAfrica – Kenya’s shuttle and taxi hailing services, Little, has announced that it has to go through the operation shutdown due to a licensing issue. The sudden stoppage was announced by its CEO, Kamal Budhabatti in late September and will be effective on October 1st.
“I would like to share some sad news with all of you. Few days before we got a communication from the authorities that we are not allowed to hail a shuttle on Little. The shuttles we hail are from our partners who are properly licensed, but we were told that it is not the right kind of license,” said Kamal in the statement.
Without mentioning the authorities, Kamal noted that Little had the proper licensing procedures for its operation and had worked with shuttle owners in Kenya to address challenging issues in the public transportation industry.
Kamal stated that Little had been running the services for the last three quarters, initiating that it has proven to be efficient and convenient for commuters, especially in Nairobi, seeking to take comfortable public transportation.
Since its launching in 2016, Little app facilitate its users who want to use comfortable transportation like taxis or shuttles. As part of its service, Little had also provided wireless internet connection as well as power charging devices, among others.
“We run point to point shuttle services on our Little App. We have thousands of Shuttle riders who ride on our platform every single day, many of them several times a day. I have met many of them personally. Most of them have been very happy with the service. It is efficient, it can be tracked, It’s on time, it’s clean and safe and off all, it’s not chaotic. Our shuttles service is so popular that most of the time they are fully booked,” said Kamal.
Another shuttle hailing services provider that was affected by the abrupt stoppage is Cairo-based Swvl. It has to stop its operation in Kenya due to the lacking of proper provisions for PSV regulations.
“The Authority in undertaking its mandate noted that Little Shuttle and SWVL operate vehicles contrary to the provisions of the PSV Regulations,” a statement from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).
“The Companies the vehicles are operating under are not registered with the National Transport and Safety as required by Section 26 of the Transport and Safety Act No. 33 of 2012,” continued the NTSA statement.
According to NTSA, the two companies never contacted NTSA to inform their intention to operate shuttle hailing services. Due to the invalidated TSL, they both were blacklisted by NTSA.