Earlier this month, the NTSA revoked the operations of e-bus services, Little Shuttle and SWVL. The development was met with angry comments from users who had since been getting familiar with the service. At that time, it was revealed that the two companies had not complied with some regulatory requirements by the transport regulator. Little Shuttle shut down its operations, but SWVL remained operational. We covered the details of the issue in a previous story.
Now, a report from Little has confirmed that shuttle services are back online, meaning users can now take advantage of the product and ride their way to their favourite destinations within Nairobi and Kiambu Counties.
“Dear Client, our little shuttle services are back. Get the best prices in a timely manner from our highly professional drivers for your commute services. Book your seat now,” read a message from Little Shuttle.
There is catch, however, because services will not be the same as before based on the type of vehicle riders will be getting into. Remember, Little Shuttle had all manner of vehicles, including Toyota Coasters, among other buses. These will not be there; in their place, Little will deploy the likes of Noahs, which are 7-seater cars that do not fall under the category of Matatus.
For housekeeping purposes, Little Shuttle does not welcome NTSA’s idea of registering as a Matatu Sacco because the business and operation model of an app-based commuting service is very different from Saccos. The same issue has also been raised by its immediate rival, Egypt-based SWVL.
As highlighted previously, SWVL did not stop offering its services, a move that Little thought was based on a preferential treatment by NTSA.
Whereas SWVL is still ferrying people around the city with bigger vehicles than 7-seater Noahs, Little will be limited to the named ‘big family car’ for the time being. The company had also mentioned that it was exploring the pros and cons of registering as a Matatu Sacco internally.
We will know more in the coming days. For the moment, Little Shuttle will have to work with 7-seaters.