Addis Ababa is the home to five million people and among those people only 300,000 people own cars. The idea of a taxi system in Ethiopia had not been well received because it lacks an adequate transport system. The taxi’s that exist are mostly old and rusty and only 450 taxis are in good condition. The traditional taxi system has said to be unsafe with robbers common while taxis lack fixed tariffs and meters meaning drivers can over charge their riders. With these concerns that people have in Ethiopia an Uber-style taxi app ZayRide has launched in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa claiming that it is what Ethiopia needs as it is suited for slower internet speeds.
Uber in the meantime cannot launch in Ethiopia due to the slow internet in Ethiopia. ZayRide is a more traditional taxi system that connects rides and drives based on location. ZayRide has a head start in Ethiopia simply because Uber requires 3G and faster internet speeds unlike ZayRide which works perfectly with slow internet. ZayRide also do not own any cars but works with taxi companies and takes 15 percent as a commission from fares. So far the startup has started off well with 1,000 riders and 530 registered drivers. There have also been over 350 trips made so far. The startup also does an extensive background check on all drivers while fares are calculated based on kilometers travelled and time. The fact that Ethiopia’s economy is growing fast means that this new startup has an added advantage especially because it’s curbing transport issues for many people there.
The app was launched by a young Ethiopian entrepreneur, Haptamu Tadesse earlier this month. To make ZayRide better it inked a deal with one of the newly- established meter taxi companies. The meter company is known as Abnet Bandinet Meter Taxi and a local payment solution provider. The collaboration is meant to make the system better and to ensure it is smooth. The new startup is definitely one to look out for. Such apps are needed in African countries that do not have adequate internet connection.