Tap a Taxi: Uber vs Little vs Taxify Comparison
Moving around within our cities is now safer and a lot more convenient since the arrival of taxi-hailing apps in 2015. It’s also much cheaper, thanks to the fierce competition between companies. Hands up if you're happy to be done haggling for a bargain on a taxi ride! But which one of the many available services best suits you? We have compared three of them for you.
The American-based taxi service Uber was the first to launch in Kenya and is locally available in Nairobi, Nakuru and Mombasa. You can download the app on Android and iOS and it works pretty smoothly most of the time. You can pay by cash or card or via Mpesa directly to the driver (though you will incur the additional transaction fee). The app has a "Help" section where you can automatically request a refund if you were overcharged or if you had any other issue. You can also contact them via Twitter or Facebook. Customer service is efficient and friendly.
Uber taxi drivers are quick to pick up requests and call clients. They also tend to be pretty good with directions. Rather than just hail a taxi when you need one, you also have the option to schedule a ride for a certain day and time in case you want to be sure to catch that plane or be on time for that important meeting.
Backed by Safaricom and created by Craft Silicon, this is Kenya’s homegrown ride-hailing service, launched about a year after Uber. You can pay for your rides by cash, Mpesa, debit cards, credit cards and even bank transfer. Customer service is responsive and helpful and you can contact them via Facebook or e-mail- email@example.com. You can choose Basic, Comfort+ and Ladybug (which means you get a female driver, which is a great option for ladies traveling at night). They also offer motorbike services (boda boda). Cars have Wifi and the drivers can sell you airtime on all the networks.
Because the app offers more features than Uber, it's not as simple to use and it gets frustratingly hung more often than some of the others. But overall, the design is nice and intuitive and you can learn your way around it quickly enough.
This taxi service was founded by Estonian brothers Markus and Martin Villig and has a million users in 19 countries including Kenya. The app looks pretty much exactly like Uber and is simple enough to maneuver. Rides can be paid for using cash and credit card. Their biggest selling point is that their service is less expensive than others. However, a little searching online shows a lot of frustration by users about the lack of responsiveness of the customer service department. Our own experience is that customer service handled our case very professionally (through email) but it took a long time (one week).
We haven’t compared actual rates for you because they change so fast, that they might be out of date by our print date. And we also haven’t looked at how each company treats their drivers because we like to steer clear of politics.
So, based on other features, you should choose Uber if you want simple and reliable tech to get the job done and you don’t feel guilty supporting the American behemoth rather than the Kenyan version. Give Taxify a go if you are looking for something slightly more affordable. For the biggest range of car types, including something luxury, or if you are a woman traveling alone at night and want a woman driver, or if Wifi in the car is important to you, or if you need a boda boda, then Little is your best bet.