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Bus travel company SWVL terminates rides within Nairobi

The company which is ceasing operations effective Friday June 3 will render many jobless

One of SWVL's buses in Nairobi. (courtesy)

Egyptian founded travel company SWVL has announced a suspension of its daily intra-city rides in Nairobi as well as SWVL city-to-city rides.

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In a statement released by the company, global economic downturn has forced the bus travel company to scale down its operations.

However, the firm will not shut its SWVL business to business product which serves corporates and private business enterprises.

“SWVL promised that having means of transportation that are reliable comfortable and affordable is not something fictional. In light of the global economic downturn, we are going to be gradually pausing our SWVL daily intracity rides in Nairobi and SWVL Travel city-to city rides,” read the statement by the company.

The city-to-city rides which were launched in 2020 enabled commuters travel to long-distance destinations among them Naivasha, Nakuru, Molo, Eldoret, Narok, Bomet, and Kericho, Kisii, Kisumu, Nyeri, Nanyuki and Machakos.

The scaling down by SWVL affects all its markets across the world including its founding market in Egypt.

This will result in job losses for hundreds who were under employment by the company as well as inconvenience for customers who used the service.

In 2019, the company secured a Sh1.5 billion financing aimed at expanding its operations in Nairobi

SWVL joins a long list of other foreign companies that have struggled to find footing in the Kenyan market citing hard times. Massmart which is the parent company of Shoprite announced exiting the Kenyan market in 2021.

Massmart CEO Mitchell Slape said the sale came as a result of a Sh2.6 billion loss by the company in 2020.

The supermarket had taken up space at Garden City Mall along Thika Superhighway, The Waterfront Karen and Mega City Mall in Kisumu.

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