While Careem & Uber are ready to bang at the door of bus-hailing services, and we’re sure they’re going to provide excellent quality, we thought we’d remind our audiences of an Egyptian company that has beaten them to the punch.
Swvl launched with the purpose of re-inventing public transportation in Egypt; they have fixed bus stops with fixed routes and timings. Customers have the option of booking individual rides, or book for the week ahead. You can choose between over 600 routes distributed around Cairo & Alexandria.
We decided to try out their service and tell you all how it went. Our bus ride started from Dokki and went all the way to Nasr City. Using their app, we pinpointed our destination, and received a notification of the price, 21 EGP per person. After that, the application gave us the driver’s number and the type of bus that will arrive, in addition to the pickup time (4:05 pm), and location.
Since our actual location was on the route of the bus, we called the driver 10 minutes in advance and asked him to meet us there, a request that he denied stating that he’s not allowed to pick up anyone except at the specified pickup stations. Disgruntled but understanding, we had to take a 10-minute walk to the pickup location. In hindsight, this is somewhat of a quality assurance feature, there to avoid the bus making excessive stops. He arrived 7 minutes late, which was also understandable given the traffic, that’s a mistake that even Google Maps can sometimes fail to avoid.
We were the first people to join the driver on his 14-passenger microbus. He asked for our code to start the trip and we complied. Our destination was the Emirates Embassy in Nasr City, and we arrived at 4:44 pm. After finishing our affairs, we thought we’d travel back with Swvl so that we could get a complete experience. This time, we opted for a minibus (Toyota Coaster) to go from Abbas Street all the way to Tahrir Square, which cost 30 EGP.
Our overall experience was very positive, the level of service was excellent, and for longer trips, Swvl really helps in saving up on your transportation costs.
What we enjoyed the most was the enormous coverage of Swvl, and the friendly service which gives you the space you need to relax, read a book, or catch up on some emails. Don’t miss out on their many promotion codes, helping you save even more on your commutes.