Carpooling, ridesharing, liftsharing, carsharing. These are all buzzwords used to describe some form of transport sharing initiative. People the world over have joined the shared economy, in a bid to share costs and build a sense of community. Tuverl is the new kid on the block seeking to solve public transport woes faced by many Zimbabweans. The Bulawayo based startup is providing a convenient way for transport operators to optimise their routes and reduce operational costs.
Founded in 2018 by Hope Ndhlovu and Bahlakoana Mabetha, Tuverl is targeting ordinary citizens seeking a better way to travel. According to Hope Ndhlovu, their aim is to make transport more accessible, reliable, and cheaper. They do this by reducing operational inefficiencies and creating optimal routes. By identifying clear problems faced by society they have created an easy and innovative solution. When you think of Tuverl, three things must come to mind. Technonology, Safety, and Convenience.
Tuverl leverages Smartphones, Cloud Computing, Data Analytics, Geolocation, FinTech, and Machine Learning to improve and optimize Public Transport and fundamentally change how commuters in African countries pay for it, starting with Zimbabwe. They have developed an app that allows users to register either as commuters or drivers. On the app, commuters can search for trips or drivers that are leaving their starting city to their destination cities. They can make payments to reserve their seats in their chosen carpool via Ecocash and swipe. Similarly, drivers or transport operators use the app to log their trips
Commuters are often faced with security issues when traveling between cities. Hitchhiking is a popular and cheaper option, but it’s not always the safest. Commuters have often reported cases of assaults and abductions when hitchhiking. Tuverl is offering a safer alternative for its users. Drivers have to go through a verification process that requires them to upload their National Ids and driver license. By entering the Tuverl carpool database, cars and trips can be tracked. This allows commuters to breathe a sigh of relief knowing they will arrive at their intended destinations safely.
Drivers can easily plan their trips without the hassle of driving around looking for commuters at undesignated pickup points. From the app, drivers can plan their trips, choosing their pickup and drop off points as well as stating how many free seats are available. The app makes it easier for intercity travelers going in the same direction to find each other.
Tuverl has been making waves globally as they strive to disrupt the African transport sector. In 2019 they won the World Bank Youth Summit Pitch Competition the YouthConnekt Sustainable Development Goals Video Competition, respectively. From coming in 3rd place at the Havard China Forum Pitch Competition, to participating in the Halycon Incubator Program, the startup is poised to redefine how Africans experience public transportation.
Although the market uptake of the app has been relatively slow, the Tuverl team is hopeful that with increased targeted marketing they will sign on more drivers. Despite the travel restrictions that had been imposed due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the startup is looking forward to an increased client base as more people are beginning to travel more.
If you would like to sign up as a driver or commuter on the Tuverl app, download the application from the Google Playstore. It is free to download and easy to use. Download it here
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