We are knee-deep into the festive season with the D-Day, Christmas, being just a matter of hours away. As a tradition for many Kenyans, people will be traveling from urban areas to join family and friends in the countryside; more like an extended family reunion.
The sudden increase in the numbers of traveler leaving Nairobi and other major cities and towns for the countryside leads to an upsurge of fare prices charged by the public service vehicles. Still, most customers feel forced to pay the exorbitantly hiked fare given Christmas is the only free time all members of a family can get to come together under happy circumstances.
Those that cannot afford are forced to miss out on the fun family get-togethers upcountry. Alternatively, they will have to ask for favors from family, friends, and neighbors with cars so they can carpool their way into traveling affordably to the countryside.
However, asking people for such favors like using their car; the many you are the more likely that person will refuse or feel uncomfortable traveling with a big bunch of neighbors and friends.
JazaGari is an Android app that allows people with cars willing to carpool with other travelers traveling to the same destination as them.
“Say you are traveling to Nakuru and your car has four empty seats, JazaGari connects you with other people traveling to Nakuru to fill the four extra seats,” said Boniface Githinji, founder, and CEO of Sematime, the company that created JazaGari carpooling app. “You can charge them however much you want, and if they agree, then you all travel together, have fun and become friends for life.”
How JazaGari app works
The driver creates the ride, sets the destination, specify the number of empty seats and charge per seat. Passengers looking to car pool will search for rides going towards their desired destination and the prices charged per each available option. They can then choose the vehicle pool option that fits their budget and preferences. Payments can be made via mobile money M-Pesa and JazaGari will then connect the drivers and passengers for a car pooling ride.
The money sent is held at the driver’s JazaGari wallet, and the drivers will only get their payment after reaching the destination. Passengers also have the option of rating and reviewing the drivers they car pool with. Only the best drivers will get recommended by the app for future JazaGari rides.