The National Transport and Safety Authority in Kenya has suspended SWVL and Little Shuttle from operating their bus hailing services.
According to a statement by the NTSA Director General Francis Meja, SWVL and Little Shuttle have been operating in the country without the required PSV licenses. He indicated that the two bus hailing companies have been using TSL (Tours Service License) to operate commuter service business contrary to the regulations.
“The authority has noted that Little Shuttle and Swvl operate vehicles contrary to the provisions of the PSV regulations. The vehicles under these hailing app companies have acquired a Tours Service Licence (TSL) but are engaging in commuter service within Nairobi, therefore, contravening the terms of the Tour Service License (TSL),” NTSA Director General Francis Meja said.
“The two companies have never contacted the authority to show any intention to operate as commuter service providers,” he added.
He also added that the authority is ready to support the companies once they seek to comply with the PSV Regulations.
Kamal Budhabhatti, Little’s CEO has a statement expressing his dissatisfaction with the authority’s action advising customers of the unavailability of the service from 1st October 2019.
“I have no quarrel with the authorities. They are doing their job as per what is listed in their bible. 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. We have been running these services for the last three quarters, and we have proved that public transport can be operated in an efficient and profitable manner.” He said.
The company launched its bus hailing services in February this year when it unveiled three routes in its maiden rides. The launch came after Cairo-based transportation startup Swvl launching its services earlier in January.
Little Shuttle is Little third product after successfully launching its cab-hailing and boda-boda service with a presence in Uganda and Zambia. The company has more than 5,000 active drivers and 345,000 active users in its platform.
SWVL is yet to issue a statement on the government crackdown.