Easy Matatu USSD booking for offline users

Easy Matatu, a transportation startup recently launched their USSD app at their head office in Entebbe. Customers can now signup, book and cancel a ride at no cost by dialing *284*28#.

USSD, short for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, is service available on all GSM cellular phones allowing two-way real-time messaging between users and app providers. It has been popularized in Africa because it does not require an internet connection and can work on both smart and feature phones.  Easy Matatu’s USSD app perfectly integrates with its Android and iOS apps synchronizing all user data when the user acquires a smart phone.

Speaking at the launch, Andrew Lema, Chief Executive Officer at Easy Matatu said that the advancement was inspired by the need to make the platform accessible to commuters from all walks of life. “Easy Matatu began operations in 2019 with the intent to redefine public transport for commuters in Africa. We have so far served 12,000 passengers with more than 20 daily trips. This USSD app will enable us to serve even more commuters.” he added.

According to a report by National Information Technology Association Uganda, the number of registered smartphone users was 5.6 million in 2019. “There are a large number of commuters who don’t hold smartphones and yet more than 24 million Ugandans have a mobile device. The USSD app will enable us bring faster and safer travel to more Ugandans.” he noted.

Kalyango Oscar Thomas, the Marketing Manager at Easy Matatu said that the USSD app is an addition to already existing mobile apps and toll-free hotline that customers can use to book and pay for rides. “With the addition of the USSD app, more people will be able to book for rides, by simply dialing, whether they have a smartphone or mobile phone.”

Kalyango added that Easy Matatu aims at providing readily available rides while ensuring they are safe, clean and affordable for their commuters. “Commuters can book and pay for seats on scheduled Easy Matatu minibus taxi rides. Operations are currently on Entebbe, Najjera, Kira, Seeta and Mukono roads,” he concluded

Andrew Lema urged Ugandans to join the movement of commuters that demand safer and more reliable dignified public transport adding that Easy Matatu will continuously innovate to change the face of transportation across Africa.

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Easy Matatu offers a free token ride when you book a scheduled ride

Just the other day, I was conversing with a colleague of mine about carpool apps trying to make headway in a cutthroat transport sector. But today, I came across an even better idea: Easy Matatu [easymatatu.com]. Easy Matatu is a mobile platform that connects commuters and allows them to book scheduled rides. In a nutshell, Easy Matatu is Safeboda on four wheels. Forgive the analogy.

I must say I am a seasoned commuter via taxis (matatus) As such, elbowing a fellow commuter out of the way in order to board before them is a skill I had to learn fast or walk home. And more to that, during rush hour, taxis are scarce and the fares shoot up depending on how annoyed the taxi driver/conductor might be that day.

From the little we know, East Matatu is partnering with regular taxis to offer the service. You get designated pickup and dropoff areas to choose from depending on what’s convenient for you.

East Matatu is offering a free first ride for first-timers. Once you download the app and schedule a ride, your first rodeo will be completely free of charge. Afterwards, the fares will be no different from the usual, save for a small top-up for the service (usually UGX 1,000).

Secondly, once you share a free ride with a friend, you receive UGX 5,000 in your wallet when they book a ride. We are not yet sure if this accumulates the more people you get on board or not.

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