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As they say, “it’s always good to review something you’ve written about before”,so let me go ahead and do it. By the way, by ‘they’, I mean my colleagues and I 😜.
Over the past few years, ride sharing and/or on-demand transportation centered startups which leverage on mobile apps have been on the rise, it goes without saying where the inspiration comes from (oh, you can look up Uber just in case you’ve been under some rock somewhere). Nonetheless, it’s always great when we have startups that then make the idea relevant contextually, and in this case we have SmartGo.
SmartGo as the name suggests, is a startup aimed at making you travel in a ‘smart’ way. We first wrote about it in January 2016 – just a little less than a month after its official launch. Since then, SmartGo has had more than 150 people signing up as transporters. This is good progress considering barriers such as internet penetration and insecurities that are associated with the adoption of such startups locally.
In as much as SmartGo now has partnerships with local taxi services (which means the service is available for local routes at the local taxi fare), they have hinged also on long distance trips i.e inter-city, mainly because there are more hustles associated with such trips, yet less mitigatory strategies in place to match those… and of course, I totally agree.
Maybe I’m the only one, but ever tried to catch an 8am bus but delay by a few minutes and find it gone? I know punctuality is important but we not always punctual now are we? Anyway, say you then find your luxury coach gone but you really need to get to say Bulawayo by 2pm, what’s the next best thing? Showgrounds!
I dread even imagining it, but anyway let’s go on. You get there with your two bags and just after nodding that you indeed are going to Bulawayo someone relieves you of one of your bags and before you know it the other bag is gone as well. No, it hasn’t been stolen but it’s been taken by one of the guys to a totally different direction. Now you’re torn in two on which one to follow and start calculating the value of the goods in each bag. Relate much? Yes, this is exactly why you need to go the ‘smart way’.
Well, there’s also an option to hike on the highway. The idea of jumping into a comfortable car with only a few other people in it and paying less money is quite attractive, even more when you factor in flexibility (meaning you can respond to whichever of nature’s calls at any other reasonable time). But then again, I don’t know about you but I have trust issues. I feel quite justified though considering the accidents and incidents that result from this type of travelling. However, with SmartGo it’s easier to enjoy these ‘private car’ benefits whilst at the same time eliminate most setbacks.
How? For starters, with SmartGo road rules apply, meaning, you don’t have to worry about absurd speeds and/or being packed like sardines at the back. Also, the fact that the vehicle will be registered and approved can give you a sense of safety since the driver will be accountable to SmartGo. Another advantage, is that the booking and confirmation process is manual so you cannot ‘cheat the system’.
Well, it’s manual to a certain extent because to use the service, you’d need the android compatible SmartGo app to book (you can download it here), then the SmartGo team calls you to confirm the booking. They also get as well as give you more detail on the booking e.g the price, time etc. through the call. Once the booking is confirmed you are good to go! You don’t have to wake up too early to catch the 7 or 8 am bus, or be told the 10am bus is full already and not feel safe about arriving late… I call that convenience!
Oh! and by the way, you don’t only get to travel conveniently and save some bucks…but book for a ride or register as a driver and stand a chance to win t-shirts, caps and tablets…valid till the end of this month so get booking!!!