CC image courtesy of teachandlearn on Flickr.
The KSh7 million (US$82,000) initiative, which is part of the operator’s ongoing effort to expand its data footprint, will see passengers’ access to free internet in more than 200 matatus and buses by September this year.
Addressing the audience during the launch Bob Collymore, Safaricom chief executive officer, thanked MOA for partnering with them and said it is a game changer and the first time of its kind.
Collymore added the move to provide free Wi-Fi in public transport industry was a perfect example of products and services adapting to suit consumers’ lifestyles.
“Most of our customers use matatus and buses as their preferred mode of transport on a day to day basis. This therefore presents us with a fantastic opportunity to drive home the internet story and make it a way of life among our customers which we believe will achieve by availing free Wi-Fi internet in matatus,” said Collymore.
According to MOA chairman Simon Kimutai, the initiative is currently a free service to 46 Passengers Service Vehicles (PSV) plying the Buruburu, Langata, Rongai, Umoja, Githurai, Dandora, Kiambu, and Kenyatta University routes.
The vehicles have already been fitted with subsidized Wi-Fi routers.
“We are changing matatu culture and let us all support this free service which adds value to our business in embracing this digital age,” he said.
Kimutai added: “This is a very exciting phase for the PSV sector. We have a lot of innovation put into buses and matatus over the years, but this is a major milestone, with over 300,000 Kenyans using public transport every day, we believe having Wi-Fi in PSVs will go a long way in making our passengers commute worthwhile.”
The service is not expected to increase the cost of taking a matatu.