Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ)’s new stand-alone unit Cassava launched the much-anticipated ‘Vaya Lift’ ride service in Harare yesterday. The new ride will be charging 85c per kilometre which is affordable and convenient considering it the service can be easily booked from anywhere, at any time, via the convenience of a mobile application (App).
Speaking at the launch event at a hotel in Harare last night, Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe CEO Mr Eddie Chibi said the service was targeted at both individual and business customers.
“This service provides the ultimate solution to anyone looking for safe, affordable, quick and reliable passenger transportation which is door to door,” Mr Chibi, said in his address at the launch event attended by senior government officials, dozens of Vaya Lift partners (drivers), individual and corporate Vaya customer representatives and members of the media.
“It also addresses the needs of businesses and organizations looking to improve business process efficiencies and manage logistical costs by offering employee shuttle at a very competitive cost,” Mr Chibi said. He added that Vaya Lift pricing was up to 20 percent lower than traditional taxi fares, with average waiting times of just about 5 mins.
He said they had started with the capital Harare, but would soon be rolling out to other cities, and introducing other new and exciting On-Demand Services.
Mr Chibi said Cassava On Demand Services, a division of Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe – which will shortly list on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) following its unbundling from Econet Wireless Zimbabwe – provided online, real-time convenience through the Vaya mobile App, to connect Vaya users to their nearest driver, or service provider, saving them time and money.
Coming at a time the country is experiencing long fuel queues, the launch of the Vaya Lift is set to bring much-needed relief as an alternative for individuals and businesses seeking to save time and money.
Mr Chibi described the Vaya business model as based on a “shared value” concept, designed to empower and reward the drivers while ensuring viability for Cassava On Demand Services.
He said the company had been recruiting drivers over the past months, during a quiet pilot of the service, and was now ready to ramp up the driver recruitment drive.
“As we speak, we already have over 500 active drivers and the number is growing on a daily basis, but we have stepped up our recruitment drive,” Mr Chibi said. The drivers, he said, are equipped with digital training manuals on customer service and other client-handling soft skills.
Mr Chibi also addressed issues of passenger personal safety and the conditions of Vaya Lift vehicles.
“Upon vetting them – getting police clearances, ensuring their vehicles are insured and kitted with our vehicle tracking system – we provide licenced and trained drivers (Vaya Partners) an opportunity to generate reliable income, using their own cars,” Mr Chibi said, adding that an inbuilt tracker and remote monitoring system in Vaya rides ensured passenger security – an important aspect of the value proposition of the service – as well as an audit trail for package deliveries and for business users.
He said to apply to be a Vaya Lift partner, or driver, all that one needs to do is to download the Vaya Partner App (the App used by Vaya drivers) or visit www.vayaafrica.com to download and complete the necessary requirements.
For consumer and business users in need of Vaya Lift ride, the VAYA App can be downloaded on the Android and iOS app stores.