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