> SHAREARIDE

TRANSFORMING BOTSWANA’S PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM

Sharearide is a service driven by Corrugated Minds, a company built by a young team who are passionate about transforming citizens’ day-to-day lives through the provision of solutions powered by technology.

The Corrugated Minds journey began in 2014, with an idea to provide digital solutions to Botswana’s everyday activities, including Sharearide, which is focused on the digitization of public transportation services. After multiple attempts to secure funding to make Sharearide a reality, Corrugated Minds were awarded the Botswana Innovation Fund in 2020. The BIF, supported by Botswana Innovation Hub, is aimed at promoting innovation through technology in Botswana’s private sector. Sharearide was recognised as one of the projects that offer solutions to some of Botswana’s challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Sharearide, a first of its kind in Botswana, is aimed at transforming access and use of public transportation in Botswana by bringing ease and convenience to travellers and transportation service providers. Instead of queueing at bus stops as passengers normally would, they can now book and pay for their transportation online via the Sharearide platform, which is available as a Web Application and Mobile Application on Android and iOS.

Sharearide intends to not only provide easier transportation access to commuters but to encourage partnership as a way of boosting growth in local service providers.

Sharearide has formed partnerships with bus operators to have local bus routes available on the platform for passengers to book. In addition to online ticket booking technology, bus operators are able to view their route and customer data in real-time, enabling them to make more informed decisions regarding their businesses.

Through forming these partnerships, the team were made aware of ways in which Sharearide could further be developed to provide solutions to some of the challenges that transport operators communicated to the team, including GPS tracking and on-board camera systems.

When taking the platform to market, the team faced various challenges, including educating partners and passengers about the new platform. As internet connectivity and smartphone usage can be uncommon amongst some communities, adoption rate of Sharearide poses as a challenge which the team are currently working on overcoming. Upon partnering with Sharearide, bus operators and their staff are taken through an onboarding session where a Sharearide team member will give an in-depth tutorial on how to use Sharearide and all its functions.

Various activities have taken place in efforts to take the product to market. The team have worked on increasing brand visibility by engaging with Batswana through physical brand activations at bus ranks, as well as online social media marketing. The reception of the service and general excitement for Sharearide has been rewarding and motivating for the team thus far.

Employment creation in Botswana is a key objective for Corrugated Minds. The Sharearide team currently comprises of five (5) young individuals, and will continue to grow as the company grows.

Sharearide can be accessed at www.sharearide. co.bw or on GooglePlay and Apple’s AppStore. Visit the Sharearide social media accounts (@SharearideBW) on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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