Rwanda gets first centralised telephone booking system for taxis

Rwanda gets first centralised telephone booking system for taxis.
Rwanda gets first centralised telephone booking system for taxis.

Yego Innovision has officially launched Yego 9191, Rwanda’s – according to the firm – first centralised booking system for Car and Motorcycle Taxis.

As revealed by the company, Yego 9191 has been developed with the support and approval of Rwanda’s Government. It makes booking and paying for taxis far easier, standardises fares and makes travel safer for both passengers and drivers.

Until today, both car and motorcycle taxi drivers in Rwanda operated as solo agents. This meant that anyone wanting a taxi had to visit a taxi stand, phone a driver whose number they had previously saved – and hope for a response – or use an app.

Unlike other ride-hailing services operating in Rwanda and across Africa, Yego 9191 doesn’t require people to have a smartphone, to download the App and have data on their phone. To order a taxi, they simply:

  • Call ‘9191’ for free from an MTN, Tigo or Airtel line.
  • Speak to the Yego agent (in either Kinyarwanda, English, or French) and provide their location, and whether they’d like a car or a motorcycle taxi.
  • Receive a free SMS text message with the licence plate number, driver’s name and phone number within a few minutes.

Yego 9191 also, as stated by the company, addresses Africa specific issues such as the lack of proper addresses, inaccurate maps and the language barrier between passengers and taxi drivers.

Last week Yego picked up two awards for its service. The company was named as the IoT Product or Service of the Year at the AfricaCom awards that recognise trailblazers who are leading the quest for digital inclusion, connectivity and digital development on the African Continent.

Yego was also named as the Best App in Africa for Mobility and Transport at the AppsAfrica awards which celebrate the best in mobile and tech from across Africa.

Yego has been working with the Rwandan Government since 2016 to regulate the traditionally informal taxi market. It is the first company in the country to receive a license to provide taxis with Intelligent Connected Fare Meters (ICFM).

After an extensive trial in 2017, Yego has now provided meters to more than 1900 drivers of cars and motorcycle taxis across Rwanda. The use of meters has formalised several elements of the journey, including:

Metered Fares:

The Yego meter automatically calculates the fare for a trip based on the distance travelled, with the fare regulated by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RUWA). This brings an end to haggling.

Cashless Payments:

Travellers can pay using mobile money, NFC Tap & Pay and Cash. Cash payments are currently allowed but will be phased out in line with Rwanda’s Vision 2020 to become a cashless economy.

Remote Payments:

Fares can be paid by someone not on the journey by sharing the Trip ID and amount. Parents can also pay for their children by connecting the NFC tag to their mobile money account.

Verified Taxi Drivers and Taxi Owners:

As part of the registration process, Yego has vetted the documents of Taxi Owners and Drivers – and the vehicles themselves. A portal with all their details is available to the relevant authorities in Rwanda to ensure that the necessary documents to operate a taxi, such as a license, insurance and authorisation, are always valid.

Karanvir Singh, CEO of Yego Innovision, said “The informal market for both motorcycle and car taxis is no longer suitable for modern life in Rwanda – and across Africa.

As data is expensive and most passengers don’t have smartphones, our 9191 service addresses 100% of the market.

Yego makes life easier for passengers, drivers, the police, and licensing departments. The Platform’s possibilities are endless: as an ambitious company, our next goal is to begin delivering goods and people such as electricians, plumbers, cleaners to people’s doorsteps.

Yego is really much more than just an e-Mobility & Service Delivery, we intend to create a multi-country logistics and payments platform that will foster economic growth and upliftment for all.”

Yego is committed to Rwanda’s national economic strategy to encourage cashless transactions, enhance safety and security, drive financial inclusion, create employment and facilitate digital literacy to benefit all Rwandans.

Edited By Darryl Linington
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