Little has today announced that they will shut down their Shuttle service as from October 1st 2019.
Little’s CEO, Kamal Budhabhatti shared the news about this development where he said that they got a communication from the authorities that they are not allowed to hail a shuttle on Little. Apparently, Little’s partners are properly licenced, but they were told that it is not the right kind of licence. “I am not sure if the decision to stop us was from the authorities or they were under pressure from the public transport cartels,” he said.
“I have no quarrel with the authorities,” Mr Budhabhatti said. “However, I would have appreciated that they open a dialog with technology companies like us on how to work together and change the face of public transportation in our country,” he said.
Little announced Little Shuttle back in February this year. It was launched after Egyptian hailing service SWVL was launched in Kenya which focused on offering mass public transportation from the tap of a button.
Mr Budhabhatti also revealed that Little Shuttle has been running for the past three quarters and according to him, it has been “efficient and profitable.” He also said that they have learnt a lot during the process and made changes and he hopes that these efforts do not go in vain.
This is quite an unfortunate event for Little and could signal that the government is trying to rein in on ride sharing apps that target mass transit. SWVL also operates in this front so we will have to wait and see what will transpire from that.