One of Zimbabwe’s ride-hailing services VAYA from CassavaSmartech has launched an auto-rickshaw service to beat the traffic blues in Harare’s Central Business District.
Dubbed the VAYA Hopper, The taxi service seeks to provide affordable transport services in the CBD faster than pirate taxis or ‘mushika shika’ as they are commonly known.
The idea of auto-rickshaws is new to Zimbabwe but not in the world as it was borrowed from India where they are called Tuk Tuks. Given India’s s massive population and traffic jams, Tuk-tuks are seen as the fastest means of transportation around Dehli and other cities.
At the time of publication, The VAYA Hopper is still in its trial phase but the service has already divided opinions. Whilst some are hailing the new offering as convenient, Some critics are already pointing out how HARARE CBD is already congested by too many vehicles. One user identified as Vashe on Twitter had this to say:
The idea of the VAYA Hooper doesn’t excite me. 1. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen how annoying those little things are in other countries.. the sights, the noise.. 2. Mushikashina + Kombis + Hoopers is going to make driving or even walking in town a challenge. Just my thoughts
Geojo Mining Solutions wrote:
These motorbikes are not the solution We have taxis and its safe that way. The economy is the problem, it is making everything unaffordable…We are better than Mozambique We can’t be reduced to Beira levels Cry my beloved Zimbabwe
Another Twitter User Sharon Mazingaizo had glowing reviews after being part of the participants in the VAYA Hopper Trial.
Today l rode in a Vaya Hopper (auto rickshaw) which was on a trial basis around the CBD, it was such a cool experience. The Vaya Hopper is a Zimbabwean version of the Indian Tuk Tuk. This is such a welcome relief providing commuters with an economical transport alternative.
Replying to Sharon, A One Mai Fadzi wrote:
In New Delhi traffic congestion, the auto rickshaw gets one to the destination faster than a taxi and is farely cheap. It would be interesting to see how Vaya hopper fares against mushika-shika in H…
Given the tough economic environment, CassavaSmartech is doing its best to innovate and launch exciting services in the market, Only time will tell if this new taxi services will be successful. What’s your take on the Vaya Hopper, share your thoughts in the comments below.