Nurses and doctors at hospitals throughout Zimbabwe are set to get free transport for 30 days as Vaya rolls out its new services. The services include a car-sharing service called Vaya Carpool and a minibus service called Vaya Shuttle.
Both services will be launched on the 15th of August.
The Vaya Carpool will be open to all members of the public and allows people to share a car and cut costs. Vaya already has over 16 000 registered cars on its digital On Demand service. A computer programme is able to do the scheduling automatically as well as plan the routes.
Vaya Shuttle is an On Demand Service that uses minibuses instead of cars.
Vaya has been testing what it calls Vaya Corporate Shuttle in which companies and organisations can order mini buses to take their staff to and from home. Econet already uses the service for its own employees and even has a separate service for taking their children to and from school — all for free. It has been going for several months.
Vaya Corporate Shuttle is aimed at companies and organisations who want to help their employees with transport.
“As long as you have at least 10 employees going to an area, you will be able to schedule their pick up using the Vaya Corporate Shuttle,” said Dorothy Zimuto, who heads up the Vaya business unit within Cassava Smartech Group, the listed entity that spun out of Econet.
Explaining the decision to give healthcare workers the free service for 30 days, Mrs Zimuto said: “We know how hard it is out there and we wanted to find a way to show our own appreciation to people who save lives every single day.”
Cassava will pay the drivers for the collections during the 30 days, she said.
All the workers at registered hospitals and clinics will be able to use the service, not just nurses and doctors.
The way it will work is that a hospital or Clinic must apply to use the service and then register each employee who will then be issued with a “Digital Pass” for use on the minibus. Every person who is registered must also download the Vaya App and key in their Digital Pass.
Whilst nurses and other hospital workers will be using minibuses on Vaya Shuttle, doctors and other senior administrators will be able to share a car under another service that will be launched at the same time called Vaya Carpool.
“You can have up to three doctors travel with Vaya Carpool. It will also be free a month,” said Mrs Zimuto.
Vaya is hoping that businesses in Zimbabwe will use Vaya Carpool and Shuttle to move their executives to and from work and save fuel for the whole country. Private cars can stay at home for use at weekends.
Mrs Zimuto said fuel demand can be cut by as much as 50% if we all use Vaya Carpool and Shuttle for getting to work and schools.
“Econet employees all use the services and it has been remarkable. Our people get to work on time, their kids and spouses also access the service, and we do it all for free right now,” she said.
Mrs Zimuto said many companies have already lined up to use both the Vaya Carpool and Vaya Corporate Shuttle services when they are launched.
“We are expecting massive uptake because companies want to help their workers,” she said, adding that registrations were already in full swing.
Several hospitals are part of the free trial, but after the 15th of August, Vaya is planning to deploy hundreds of minibuses and thousands of cars for the free 30-day period.
Meanwhile Mrs Zimuto confirmed that the Vaya School Shuttle that has been on trial with Econet Group employees is set to open to the full public next term.
Using the Vaya App schools and parents can schedule pickups for children and teachers from homes to schools. Parents and teachers can follow the trip using their phones, just like a normal Vaya ride vehicle.