Bus hailing company SWVL has announced that it has received the necessary regulatory approval from National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to restart operations in Kenya.

The company’s operations have been curtailed after Nairobi County Government and NTSA said that the company had not obtained the necessary licenses to operate.

Dip Patel, the General Manager for SWVL in Kenya, said the green light on compliance from the NTSA will be a major boost to the company. “We are pleased that we have resolved all issues with the NTSA and that’s extremely important for us. Once we exit the lockdown, we will be able to steadily bring back our operations and we can now show our corporate customers that we have met all the regulatory requirements”, said Mr Patel.

The company plans to begin onboarding existing bus owners and public transport saccos, in their bid to benefit the entire ecosystem. This will help them overcome the regulatory hurdles that they had found themselves in before. The company will however resume the rides after the current COVID-19 pandemic lockdown is over.

In light of the confusion surrounding existing compliance requirements, the NTSA is willing to look into developing the regulatory framework in place to encompass user and industry-driven technological advancements. This will help to fill the gap that exists in regards to regulating technology platforms in the transport industry.

The NTSA, on its part, has stated that subject to SWVL’s compliance with certain guidelines, “the Authority has no objection to SWVL providing digital vehicle hailing services.”

SWVL Kenya also announced that they will continue to grow their corporate partnerships, offering organisations rides for their employees. These corporate rides continue to run during the pandemic period and are set to grow further post lockdown. SWVL will be looking to engage more organisations seeking comfortable, reliable, safe, convenient and affordable transportation for their employees, especially under the new social distance guidelines in place.

SWVL is a Cairo-based transportation start-up that allows allowing riders to hail shuttles operating on fixed routes and timings from their mobile phones. They currently operate in Egypt (Cairo and Alexandria), Kenya (Nairobi) and Pakistan (Lahore). The company was co-founded by Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahoud Nouh, and it launched in 2017. It’s one of the fastest-growing transportation start-ups in the region with investors including DASH Ventures, Sawari Ventures and BECO Capital.

The company’s services are available via the app on the Google Playstore and the Apple Store. The company operates from the Central Business District to the following towns; Ongata Rongai, Ruiru, and Kikuyu. To get space on the bus all you have to do is log on to the app, choose your bus stop and then book your seat.