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Here’s A Look At Econet’s Uber

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Update: Vaya Africa is not yet available to the public and is being tested by Cumii employees

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It seems the ride-sharing market in Zimbabwe is experiencing a boom. New players are popping up left, right and centre. We’ve seen G-Taxi, Hwindi, Emergency Taxi, ZimTaxi and now Cumii is entering this space with the Vaya Africa ride sharing and deliveries application.

Econet’s entry into this field is interesting especially when one considers that the consumption of these services doesn’t appear to be widespread yet.

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How does it work?

By now the how part has been exhausted… Like many other ride-sharing applications you enter your location and the drop-off destination. The application gives you the fee you’ll pay to go wherever it is you’re headed and you can then confirm your ride. You can also track the driver on his way to pick you up.

You can pick from a number of vehicle types including trucks and 7 seaters if you have many more passengers. You can also set a preference for taxis with handicap accessibility.

Deliveries

You can also send deliveries using the application and the costs are usually marginally cheaper than carrying people. You can pick from a scooter to a haulage truck depending on the size of the package. Right now there aren’t many vehicles signed up and the only vehicle type available for deliveries is the pickup truck.

The application also has a menu containing your bookings, both past and upcoming. You can also add the card with which you’ll be making payments which is an essential feature which makes it easy to make payments even if you have left that card.

Safety

In terms of safety features, you can also add 5 emergency contacts who you can contact if anything suspect happens during transit.

Undercutting the competition

Comparing G-Taxi and Cumii’s Vaya Africa service shows us some interesting facts. Cumii is much cheaper than Taxi and most of the time it’s almost half as cheap and this puts competitors in a rock and a hard place.

We made a comparison using G-Taxi, Hwindi and Vaya Africa. Getting a ride from our offices in Marlborough to RBZ in town cost the following:

Hwindi – $8.00

G-Taxi – $12.00

Vaya Africa – $7.93

Vaya Africa and Hwindi are priced similarly whilst G-Taxi seems to have its own unique pricing structure. Vaya Africa clearly has the cheapest fairs amongst these three.  We will do a comparison article for all the ride-sharing applications and see which one is the cheapest of them all.

Do zimbos have enough disposable income

Ride-sharing seems to be very convenient and it’s one of those markets where first movers usually get to dominate the industry. This might explain why so many people are rushing to start doing something in this space at a similar time. The only question that arises is whether or not Zim is actually ready for ride-hailing.

There is not much disposable income in people’s pockets so it seems asking for people to get into town using these services is a huge ask right now. Getting into town (from my house) using a combi costs 50c and using Vaya Africa will cost $6.12. Of course Vaya Africa -and other ride-sharing apps- isn’t fighting combi’s but when the cost is 6 times as high then even when I want to use it, I have to have a long and hard thought before committing to Vaya. Yes, combi’s have their frustrations and if the economy allowed they would’ve gone extinct a while ago. The reality on the ground, however, shows that’s not the case and people keep turning back to combi’s because of the costs.

Interested in driving?

You can also sign up as a driver, using a separate application, Vaya Partner. When registering you have to upload a number of documents which include your licence, police clearance report, ID/passport and proof of address.

10 thoughts on “Here’s A Look At Econet’s Uber

  1. One reason these services struggle is transport is efficient and reliable in Zim. This might seem absurd, but there is no place a combi can’t get you to in HRE. This is not usually the case with big cities. Also combi costs 50c for the same ride you paid $8 on Hwindi. For $8, with a combi, you go from Harare to Marondera and back twice.

    1. Things are different in the northern surburbs. Combi’s are few and they dissappear at night thats why you notice the increase in metered taxis in Harare. New taxi companies are sprouting!

  2. Just Go through Vaya Africa website (https://www.vayaafrica.com/) and application then go through Hwindi website (https://www.hwindi.com/) and applicaiton.
    Vaya Africa has just replicated Hwindi and removed 7 cents from price. In some areas VAYA AFRICA copied the HWINDI wording word to word.

    Compare below screenshots:

    MEET THE DRIVERS section “Our driving family welcomes you on board with a smile. Just look out for them!”

    Hwindi as of 1 January 2018 and to day https://snag.gy/jFdpXv.jpg
    Econet VAYA as on 1 October 2018 https://snag.gy/pdfLYA.jpg

    SIgn In Section ….

    Hwindi as of 1 January 2018 and to day https://snag.gy/w1BNsI.jpg
    Econet VAYA as on 1 October 2018 https://snag.gy/TsCwIW.jpg

    Go through the apps and websites for yourself and comment.

  3. Compare the HWINDI website and the VAYA AFRICA website. It is identical including wording in some sections especially the sign in pages and the meet our drivers sections.

      1. What of the wording, “Our driving family welcomes you on board with a smile. Just look out for them!”

        Surely this could have been changed.

        1. It’s a web template, you can use it as is or modify it. Clearly, both Hwindi and Vaya Africa did not bother to modify the template and ended up with similar looking websites.

  4. They are a long way to go because they are trying to change a ingrained culture. Uber has shifted their model now from the one they are trying to use locally and that’s the interesting part, plus you have forgotten tel-one’s handei taxi, imota-cars etc i think we should be trying to improve on a system we have and de-congest our roads, more than congest them

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