Home Startups ‘Uber for motorcycle taxis’ Savvy Riders launches to bring sanity to Kenyan roads

‘Uber for motorcycle taxis’ Savvy Riders launches to bring sanity to Kenyan roads

by Sam Wakoba
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Founded by Peter Veldhoven and Huib van de Grijspaarde, Savvy Riders is a motorcycle taxi startup set to bring sanity to Kenya’s motorcycle industry.

Savvy Riders aims to train the Bodaboda riders on motorcycle maintenance, customer relations and road safety in order to help them have stable incomes as well as save their lives and those of their passengers.

According to the firm, “Many of them do not have a driver’s license, do not acknowledge traffic rules and account for several and severe road accidents. They do not care about safety, neither for themselves nor for their passengers.. They do not wear helmets and if they provide one for their passengers, they refuse to wear it because of the poor hygienic conditions.”

The firm therefore promises to create a healthier system where riders understand the importance of riding well-maintained motorcycles with helmets and safety gear. It also aims to raise awareness on road safety to save their lives and those of their passengers.

Based in Kenya and Amsterdam, Savvy Riders started its activities under the Dutch social enterprise Koneksie in a move to professionalize the motorcycle taxi industry in Africa where motorcycle taxis provide a crucial transportation role but are highly unregulated. In Kenya alone, over 3000 road traffic deaths occur annually and 21% of these accidents are motorcycle caused. Due to the lack of proper helmets, head injuries are the first cause of motorcycle deaths says the firm. Because of these deaths, a majority of public hospitals devote much of their bed-space to motorcycle fatalities and spend around half of their budgets on that.

Similar to Uganda’s SafeBoda, Savvy Riders aims to create a class of professional drivers out of the now unregulated and unstructured industry by providing road safety training, equipping them with certified helmets and monitoring them.

“We are building a strong network of professionals able to offer a proper taxi ride. In the end, we will become a label everyone wants to be part of,”  concludes the firm.

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