Travelling as a woman in Nairobi is always an extreme sport. If you’re on public transport, you have to watch out for groping fingers, men who sit too close or man spread and insults from the konda when you don’t get into his matatu. You’d think these problems would be fixed when using taxis, but that is sometimes not the case. It is upon such a bleak background that An Nisa Taxi Services were recently launched. Unfortunately, as happy as I was to test out this new service, my joy was short-lived.
An Nisa Taxi Service – For Women By Women On The Go
The platform is an all-women taxi service right here in Nairobi. It is based on their motto ‘For Women By Women’ which takes into account both the clients and the drivers. This means that all the taxis under this service are driven by women.
These women have been carefully vetted to ensure they are safe and reliable. On the client’s side, this taxi service is only open to women and children.
App and Website Experience
I heard about An Nisa Taxi Services in a tweet and at first, I thought it was a prank. I mean, how could something so potentially amazing exist in this our Nairobi?
So, of course, I had to check it out. And there’s a good side and bad side to this story!
So, the Annisa website is pretty and fantastic. All the relevant info is on the homepage so you don’t need to keep switching tabs. There you’ll find a bit about the company, information on how to be a driver, testimonials and contacts.
According to the website, they supposedly operate daily from 8 am to 6 pm and seem to cover all parts of Nairobi. You can also download the Annisa app, which makes it even easier to call up a taxi.
From the app, you can estimate the cost of your ride when requesting a taxi. You can also get several options for the size of car you prefer. The app has an e-wallet and gives you several options for paying for your ride. However, this is where the fun ends. I tried to take a taxi and nothing seemed to be working out.
I was in Kileleshwa, surely an area where a taxi service should be accessible. It was around 11 AM and I was trying to get to a work meeting when I figured I would give An Nisa a try.
I downloaded the app from the Google Play store, and the set up was pretty efficient. The app itself appears no different to the standard UX for cab apps, save for the pleasing purple colour and I was psyched to support this female-led initiative; girl power and all that!
Upon opening the app, it appeared that there were drivers in the nearby neighbourhoods of Westlands and Parklands. So I put in my trip details, placed the order and waited… and waited… and waited. The app searched for 5-10 mins to no avail.
So after a frustrating few minutes, I made a second attempt to get an An Nisa ride. Unfortunately, no dice. A third attempt and all hope was lost. It seemed that today was not my day to support the ride-hailing service for women by women.
A few weeks later and the app won’t open at all today. It’s weird that a company that has been on the Kenyan space for almost two years now can’t get it right when it comes to providing the necessary services they set out for.
Have you heard of or used An Nisa? What’s your experience?