Nakuru youths develop taxi hailing application

Saturday December 07 2019

Founder of Urban X taxis an online taxi hailing service in Nakuru Town, Adam Abdihamid (centre) explains how to download the application on mobile phones on December 6, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Like most young people in Nakuru Town, Adam Abdihamid, 23, and Yazid Bassam, 24, were not able to secure jobs after graduating from the university.

After their job applications were rejected, they started looking for solutions to their joblessness. 


Mr Abdihamid studied Computer Science at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology while Mr Bassam studied the same course at Moi University.

As they were thinking of how to secure jobs the increasing online taxi hailing companies in Nakuru town fascinated them.

“The many taxi companies in Nakuru Town reignited our interest of developing a superior application,” said Mr Abdihamid.


Their obsession with technology has seen them become the latest entrants in the increasingly congested online taxi hailing business.

The Urban X an online taxi hailing application was launched in Nakuru Town on December 6, 2019.

Mr Abdihamid came up with the idea of creating the application before he shared it with his friend Bassam.

The idea has now attracted more than 30 young people aged between 20 and 26.


“I believe in empowering my fellow youth and that is why we have incorporated more young people in our team,” said Mr Abdihamid.

He added: “Unity is strength and Urban X can only become successful if we have many youths on board,” he added.  

Mr Abdihamid said that he saw the gap in the market between drivers and riders. Some of the clients did not know how to use the applications.

“There were complaints of drivers harassing clients and vice versa. To address this, we have a panic button which is connected to police hot lines to enhance safety,” said Mr Abdihamid.

Unlike their competitors, Urban X has developed a toll free number for those who have no money to access the application.

“Once a client calls the toll free number 0800720402 he or she is attended to promptly,” said Mr Bassam.

He said initially the application targeted boda boda riders in Nakuru.

“We realised that the online taxi hailing platforms had many problems which we decided to address through an improved application,” said Mr Bassam.

Some of the gaps they identified include lack of emergency button and a toll free number for clients with no access to internet.

Mr Bassam said they are targeting 500 clients in Nakuru Town as they plan to roll out the services in other counties.

TARGET SH500,000

Mr Bassam said the initial capital of Sh500,000 was raised by the 30 youth most of whom are university graduates.

Mr Abdihamid, who is also the chief executive officer, said the application can be downloaded in Google play store. They charge Sh22 per kilometre and Sh4 per minute.  

“We started with about 20 drivers and with a customer base of about 500, we project to rake in between Sh300,000 and Sh500,000 per month,” said Mr Abdihamid.

“Our company ensures drivers have the right vehicle ownership documents and valid and clean driving licenses,” said Mr Bassam.

The application under the slogan “ride in style arrive in time” is a game changer in the online taxi hailing business in Nakuru.

 “We are happy the application and the start-up is coming at a time when Nakuru is just about to become a city, we hope this will translate into good business,” said Bassam.