In the heart of Nigeria is Lagos, home to more technological advancement than any other state. Thus, it was not surprising when Uber launched its apps for Lagosians to use. Not only have their cars been affordable, but their service has also been superb as well. Now, Uber Technology Inc. is planning to launch its boat business in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital and biggest city. The aim is simply to beat traffic congestion.
We would all agree that Lagos, the sub-Saharan Africa biggest city with an estimated population of 22 million, is known for its traffic congestion. Thus, leaving commuters spending hours in their cars. To make matters worse, public transport services are scarce and unreliable. One of the most effective means of transportation is the waterways. Its widespread waterways provide good transport options. However, they are hardly used.
Uber, which faces competition from Estonian-ride hailing firm Bolt, said it would seek partnership with local players for the service. It currently has 1.3 million active riders and 36,000 drivers in Sub-Saharan Africa. The U.S-based company said its franchise in Africa is still at early stages.
“Our strategy is in every country we going into we want to find local partners to help us with o
Uber Nigeria in Talks with the government
Uber is currently in talks with the Lagos state government and regulatory authorities. The plan is to start Uber boat services on its waterways. In a recent interview, Uber’s Chief Business Officer Brooks Entwistle stated this in an interview.
We know the traffic is a priority and we think we can help there
“We are having fruitful good discussions with the regulators right now, it is what we are doing this week, we are meeting with partners.”
However, the executive did not give a timeline on when the service will begin.
Already in Egypt, Uber launced a boat service in 2017 with taxis zipping up the Nile River that dissects Cairo to bypass clogged streets. The company has also expanded the service to cities including Mumbai and along the Croatian coast. It is now also looking to partner with Lagos Bus company to provide ride services through its platform according to the CBO. The transport company is also in talks with regulators to start operations in Francophone Dakar and Abidjan, Entwistle said.
What Lagosians should Expect
When the boats by Uber have been launched, it will be a great sigh of relief from the ever-busy Lagos roads. However, one of the things that may bother a lot of Lagosians is the pricing. If the pricing is costlier, there is less chance of getting a lot of customers to use their boat. However, if the pricing is fair, then Uber should expect more people using water transportation than land.
Additionally, another thing to expect is the expertise of the drivers. One is not sure yet how Uber is going to get credible drivers. Also, we have to consider how many people actually have personal boats. Compared to cars, the gap is wide.
The Uber Bar Has Been Raised
Unlike their competitors, Uber is very concerned about the safety of both the customers and their drivers. It is little wonder why they take ratings seriously. Almost every day, there have been newer altercations and upgrades on the app. Thus, raising the bar even more than before. With the success of boats in Lagos, more stars will even be awarded, They will also be helping with more access to water transportation.
An Uncertain Question
Usually, every state has a different business module. For Lagos, the business module also differs. Although so many private boat owners may exist in Lagos. We still have to answer a couple of questions. For instance, how many private boat owners will let out their boats for taxis? Is Uber getting boats specifically by themselves? Are they getting drivers? How do we work on the boat service? These are just a few questions that Uber may need to answer and tackle amicably. In the instance where these issues are tackled, it will mean smooth sailing for everyone including them.