The pros and cons of ride-hailing in Kenya 

Published on
September 11, 2022

Ride-hailing has grown in popularity in Kenya, proving profitable and significantly boosting the economy. It is a major source of revenue in the transportation industry. As a result, individuals and investors have made it their mission to propel this industry.

This post examines both sides of the coin, the advantages and disadvantages of this business.

The advantages of ride-hailing in Kenya 

1. An economic booster

Global investors have poured money into the African ride-hailing industry, with Kenya leading the way. This is due to countries' potential and opportunities for expansion and growth. The large number of ride-hailing businesses in Kenya proves that the industry is steadily expanding and thus benefiting the country's economy in various ways.

2. An advancement from traditional methods

Kenyans used taxis as a ride-hailing service not long ago, where one had to physically locate a vehicle they were familiar with, negotiate the price, and ride with them. We now use our smartphones to request, select, and even cancel rides whenever we want. Price estimates are available within the apps to help with budgeting. Technology makes this advancement possible, demonstrating that Kenya is keeping up with emerging changes.

3. Convenience, flexibility, and choice

Ride-hailing has made transportation more convenient than ever before. With the help of Google Maps, one can order a Mobi ride from anywhere in the country. They have allowed users to choose their mode of transportation, whether cars or motorcycles, at their leisure.

Drivers for ride-hailing services also like being able to set their own schedules and work when they want. As a result, they often become their own bosses.

4. Professionalism 

As a service, ride-hailing is a job. As a result, drivers are trained and expected to treat their customers professionally and respectfully. Customers receive good customer service because there is little interaction. The rating feature lets customers provide honest feedback on rides and driver behaviour.

5. Safety and privacy 

Compared to matatus, a common public mode of transport in Kenya, cabs are a safer and more private choice of transport. Children, expectant mothers, and the elderly can trust cabs when commuting on their own while sharing their rides. One can work on their laptop or even handset on the move. One can have a meal in peace when using a cab.

6. Employment 

Kenya is one of the countries that has faced the issue of unemployment for a long period of time. Ride-hailing companies in Kenya are numerous, and all of them need drivers to provide this service. Therefore, they have employed many Kenyans, from the youths to the seniors.

Disadvantages of ride-hailing in Kenya

1. Controversial payments

Most ride-hailing drivers work on a contract basis and only receive a commission salary. As a result, most of them earn a minimum wage. They also face additional expenses such as repairs and fuel. They must also maintain the vehicle and cover insurance costs, which are exorbitant.

2. Congestion

Nairobi is a congested city due to its high population and vehicles. A thriving ride-hailing industry means more vehicles on the road, which means more traffic and congestion throughout the country. Because of the time and resources wasted, traffic jams have become a major issue. Citizens are subjected to significant environmental pollution due to vehicle emissions and noise.

3. Expensive to the common mwananchi

Cabs are more expensive to use than public transportation. A matatu, for example, costs 20 ksh from Westlands to the CBD, whereas a cab costs around 150 ksh. It is reasonable to conclude that not everyone in Kenya can afford these services. When it comes to drivers, owning a car or a motorcycle is prohibitively expensive, and hiring one is equally so.

4. Trip/ ride cancellations 

Clients can cancel trips, which is a disadvantage for the drivers. The driver's time and fuel spent on a cancelled ride could have been used to reach another destination. Such incidents leave the drivers feeling demotivated and unable to work, which may impact their overall output.

5. It can be dangerous

The process of becoming a ride-hailing driver is straightforward and simple. In such a scenario, clients may be driven around by inexperienced and untrained drivers, exposing them to dangers such as road accidents.

In Kenya, there have been robberies, car jackings, and other crimes related to the ride-hailing industry. This risks the company, the driver, and the passenger.


Every business has advantages and disadvantages in its respective industries. When starting a business or selecting a service, it is prudent to be aware of both scenarios. Choose the best ride-hailing service in Kenya, no matter where you are. select Mobi.

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