When it ventured to Mombasa Road in May, for instance, commuters made Super Metro a trending topic for offering smooth rides in clean, comfortable vehicles.
Metro Trans Limited is the entity behind the popular fleet of ‘Super Metro’ buses that ply various routes criscrossing Nairobi. Since its establishment in 2013, the sacco has risen to become among the most preferred Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators by commuters in the Nairobi metropolitan area.
While the Kikuyu-Nairobi 105 route remains its mainstay, Super Metro has caused ripples in transport sector by venturing into routes including Rongai and, more recently, the Mombasa Road route with stops at Syokimau, Mlolongo and Kitengela among other densely populated areas. Other routes it plies include Nairobi-Juja and Nairobi-Thika/Makongeni.
A key factor in the company’s growth has been the steady expansion of its fleet. This has been supported by financing arrangements with leading banks including National Bank of Kenya (NBK) and Co-op bank. In May 2022, Metro Trans received a fleet of 80 buses from Simba Corporation Limited in a purchase arrangement financed by NBK through their Asset Based Finance Product.
The NBK – Simba Corp partnership enables customers to get up to 90 percent financing payable within 60 months with an option of Ksh300,000 working capital. In November 2020, Metro Trans received 45 new buses from Isuzu East Africa with financing from Co-op Bank in a lease agreement worth Ksh225 million.
In Nairobi’s cut-throat transport industry, having relatively new and comfortable vehicles is a big draw for customers.
If reviews by commuters are anything to go by, it ranks highly on customer satisfaction – and Metro Trans seems to have achieved the goal it was founded with of bringing a new face to the matatu industry often associated with disorder and other not-so-friendly practices.
This can be attributed to its stringent hiring and disciplinary processes. Requirements for drivers and conductors seeking employment with the sacco include recommendation letters from their previous employer, NHIF and NSSF registration and a valid certificate of good conduct from the DCI.
Customer complaints against a driver or conductor trigger internal hearings that can lead to their dismissal.
The sacco was established 9 years ago when 14 directors came together with a shared vision of making an impact in the transport sector. Nelson Mwangi, who had experience operating his own PSVs, was the Chairman.
The popularity of the brand becomes apparent when it ventures to new routes, as customers welcome them as a breath of fresh air. When it ventured to Mombasa Road in May, for instance, commuters hailed it for offering smooth rides in clean, comfortable vehicles.
Sample some of the viral comments that followed its debut on the route:
“Super Metro is really rattling the matatu routes in Nairobi. Dismantling the Nganya cartels one by one with cheap fares,” wrote Lemur Kinyash.
“Or we just convert Super Metro into a political party? Imeshikanisha wakenya yiote,” joked one Simerwa.
“Super Metro are setting standards for Kenya’s Matatu industry.
~ Only driver and conductor
~ No idling miscreants
~ Clean and presentable buses and personnel
~ Quick returns of change
~ Soft, controlled music
Keep going🧐” shared a Twitter user known as Mankind prime.
“Whoever runs Super Metro should be given the KQ CEO job. Igathe van [sic] take over,” wrote Marvin Chege