On a daily basis, expatriates and local workers alike must travel from the residential area of Salmiya to the center of Kuwait City, where most companies and government buildings are located. But the year-round scorching temperatures make it impossible to walk even 20 minutes, let alone have that be a pleasant stroll like in more temperate climates. Also, the scarcity of parking spaces means that a simple and short drive can be quite inconvenient.
In this context, the largest and most important transport operator in Kuwait, City Group Co. KSPC (CGC), operated a mass transit service called CityBus, as well as the GoCity brand, which performs services for both companies and end users and includes on-demand mobility services. However, until now, most of these had to be requested through a call center. And this solution for a flexible line was not enough to cover all the mobility needs of their users.
With the aim of modernizing, CGC issued a bidding process to improve fully digitized on-demand services. Shotl and Swvl, who were in talks at the time, submitted a joint application and won. The end result is CityLink Shuttle (available for Android and iOS), a white-label app developed by Shotl's engineering team that offers Corner-to-Corner and last-mile services. This puts Kuwait on the map of places that have adopted smart city mobility and technology while improving the quality of life for residents.
In mid-June, a testing phase began in an approximately 15 km2 area comprising over a hundred virtual stops. By the beginning of July, everything was ready to start operating. The new service is available all-week round, from Sunday to Thursday from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. and Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. It works for both immediate and scheduled rides, and payments are integrated into the app for the convenience of all users.
Kuwait thus joins the list of countries in which Shotl’s technology offers optimal mobility solutions that adapt to any environment.
We chat with Adrià Ramirez Papell, Mobility Project Manager at Shotl, to get his insights into how to ensure maximum uptake of demand-responsive transit (DRT) among a user group traditionally considered challenging: the elderly.
A local on-demand pilot in Herzogenbuchsee, Switzerland that is run by volunteers and operates via a fully electric-fleet, including a rickshaw, is now using Shotl’s platform under the umbrella of the project flow on demand.