Egyptian bus transportation network, SWVL has today notified is users that they are suspending their services to comply with NTSA regulations.
“We would like to notify our customers that we intend to be fully compliant with NTSA regulations by the end of this month,” the notice said. “However in the meantime, our routes have been affected and we apologize for the inconvenience caused. We are working around the clock with the NTSA to rectify.”
This move follows what we saw back in September where Little shut down their Shuttle service over licencing issues. Little’s CEO, Kamal Budhabhatti shared this where he said that they got communication from the authorities that they didn’t have the right kind of licence. Later on, Kamal said that they read on the newspaper that NTSA had ordered SWVL to stop operating but they still did.
NTSA wanted Little and SWVL to register as Matatu Saccos but according to Little, the business and operation model of an app based commuter service is different from Saccos. Little Shuttle became operational again but they had to change their commuter model slightly to comply.
Currently, we have no idea what SWVL is planning to comply with NTSA regulations but it won’t be a surprise if it was similar to what Little did.
SWVL has become quite popular in Nairobi. They got Kshs 1.5 billion as funding for the Kenyan market which they have used quite generously to lure customers. SWVL founders said some time back that Nairobi was one of their biggest growth markets and you will be sure they still want that to be the case.