East & West Bus Transport Company (“East and West”) launched at the end of 2013 to provide a safe and reliable motor coach and parcel delivery service between several cities in Somaliland. Prior to the start of East and West, the only options for intercity transport in Somaliland were seven seater vans, small private cars, and individually owned small and medium sized buses. These vehicles are typically overcrowded and unsafe, as they are modified to carry extra passengers with the addition of extra seats. These services are also unreliable, as the vehicle owners will wait for a full vehicle before departing. For parcel delivery, the only option was hand delivery by the sender or through a private messenger. East and West quickly became a highly demanded transportation service and came to Shuraako seeking a loan to expand its fleet.
After securing financing through Shuraako, East and West added three large coach buses to its fleet. The three additional coaches are being used to introduce a new route to Las Anod and increase the frequency and capacity of the existing routes. With the expansion of the fleet and a modest increase in fares, passenger trips are expected to increase by 31% with revenue from coach sales increasing by 35%. This investment created skilled jobs including drivers, mechanics, salespeople and administrative staff.