By Philip Mwakio
Fikisha - a new taxi hailing app has finally landed in the port and tourist city of Mombasa.
Fikisha, that made its debut in Nyeri in 2016, is likely to give the dominant Uber, Taxify and Little Rides a run for their money following its aggressive entry into the Mombasa market.
''Ours is a one-stop Kenyan application that seeks to offer services apart from taxi to product deliveries, home, office delivers as well as hearse and ambulance services,'' said Fikisha marketing manager Catherine Wamboi.
Speaking during the official launch held at the picturesque Mamba Village in Nyali, Mombasa county, Wamboi said that they have their work cut out after installing what is billed as a user-friendly app with easy registration and onboarding. She said they also offer pre-booking services.
''Our timing and arrival in Mombasa is monumental. We are determined to lend a helping hand in ensuring tourists and locals alike get excellent service at very pocket-friendly rates. The holiday season is already here with us and what a better way to travel Fikisha and arrive safely at your destination of choice?'' she said.
She said that they are looking at increased tourism business with traffic flow from both the Mombasa West Terminus of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Mombasa Port and adjoining outlets that offer traffic for taxi services.
The Fikisha app also has options for bodaboda and tuk-tuks. In total, Fikisha has a fleet of 50 cars, 10 bodabodas and 108 taxi cabs in Mombasa and is still adding more to its fleet.
''We have installed security measures in place to flag down operators with expired documents including PSV insurance and licences as we seek to have law-abiding operators'' said Wamboi.
She said that they have had a series of meetings with the service providers to ensure that they are in compliance with Kenyan traffic laws.
Wamboi said that the company is working closely with relevant government agencies including the county government of Mombasa to ensure that they remain fully compliant with existing requirements.
''We have studied the market well enough and do not want to pile up pressure already existing on traffic snarl-ups that taxi hailing operators have been blamed for'' said Wamboi.
On expansion plans, Wamboi said that after Mombasa, they are looking for a presence in Kisumu, Eldoret, Kitui, Machakos and Nakuru.
''We have taken on board foot soldiers who shall be running our daily business errands and of particular importance is that we are recruiting the youths who have been jobless and idle. Already in Mombasa alone we have recruited 800 and have already partnered with both ambulance and hearse owners,'' she added.