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Kenya's govt urged to consult on transport tech innovation

Kenya's govt urged to consult on transport tech innovation

Efforts by the government of Kenya to implement technology to enhance local transport may be thwarted if they fail to engage stakeholders in all relevant processes say industry operators.

"The government is trying a lot of things but it's not considering the facts on the ground with the true players in the industry," said Edward Mbogo, Chief Operating Officer of MyRide Africa.

MyRide Africa is a platform that aids riders to communicate publicly about their experiences in public transport vehicles (matatus).

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) is already rolling out digital driving licenses, number plates with embedded micro-chips and also third party stickers that will be place on the windshield of every vehicle and contain digital information on the car. These are being issued in collaboration with insurance companies.

The Authority aims to fully digitise traffic management, including tracking vehicles and issuing digital penalties on driver licences.

However, some projects have not worked, according to Mbogo.

Alluding to the botched digital fare payment system, which is believed to have derailed due to a lack of consultation, awareness and implementation, Mbogo said: "A lot of things narrow down to the driver and conductor. If you try to overlook them or try to jump the chain, it won't work. They are the ones who control everything."

The NTSA insist that they haven't dropped the project, although little has been done to revive it.

"Even some transport companies have tried issuing digital payment systems but it has not really worked," Mbogo added.

Data Integrated is another company looking to change the public transport industry.

The firm is using IOT to help vehicle owners keep track of expenses and revenue.

Mary Mwangi, CEO of Data Integrated, said, "The camera can record how many people are coming in to the vehicle through IOT, and it also has automatic fare calculation in the system."

Mwangi added the system can track where the vehicle has been and there are plans to add digital payment facilities.

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