Uber, Bolt raise service charge

Uber and Bolt- Nigeria’s top ride-hailing services have increased the service charge on their trips owing to the high costs of living.

The situation is compounding the woes of commuters who rely on these platforms for their mobility solutions.

Uber and Bolt are two popular ride-hailing services that have made transportation easier, with safe and comfortable transportation, but as of today, it appears that the opposite is established given the rise in service charges.

Transport is a necessity directly consumed by everyone, making ride-hailing enter the market to provide convenience and comfort at a reasonable cost, against the odds of what we have it to be.

Given that ride-hailing is occasionally seen as a luxury, consumers are left to stick with price hikes or not, or be indifferent.

There used to be a flat rate under Bolt, N800, but not available as price ranges now start from N1, 200. From Ikeja-Ikoyi costs N3, 500-N4, 200; Berger to Ikoyi costs N4, 300-N5, 200; Yaba to Victoria Island costs N3, 300-N4, 000, etc.

“I usually order a ride from Maryland to Yaba around N1,100-1,500, now it is between 1,900-2,100,” Damilola Abogunde, a rider said.

The present spike in practically everything has been sparked by rising energy prices. Energy costs have gone up for diesel, liquid fuel, and solid fuel.

“I ordered a ride from Akoka to Ajah, using In-driver, the recommended price was N5,800, but I ended up paying more because the driver asked I upgrade the price,” Ngozi Azu, a rider said.

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Between January and August 2022, the diesel price surged by 171.9 percent to sell for an average of N786.9 per litre from N289.4/litre as of December 2021, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The cost of goods and services in Nigeria has been rising quickly for eight months in a row, contributing to the country’s headline inflation rate. According to NBS, the inflation rate in September was 20.7 percent, the highest level in 17 years.

“Bolt from Surelere to Apapa is always within the range of N1,100-1,500, but now, I see a price range of N1,900-N2,200”, Esther, a rider said.

According to NBS, Nigerians incurred N40.2 trillion as household consumption expenditure in 2019, out of which 56.7 percent was spent on food items, followed by transportation which was second highest with 6.4 percent, while health and education came next with 6.1 percent and 6.0 percent respectively.

Recently, with the flood situation in the country, fuel scarcity has begun to take a toll on commuters, leading to another increase in transport fares in the state, motorists are seen in long queues in front of the few filling stations that are selling the product.

The scarcity, which started in other states in the country earlier this month as a result of floods, including the country’s federal territory, Abuja is now a major concern in Lagos.

“I requested a ride still using Indriver, before we started negotiating; the app provided me with the choice between three alternate pricing.

“All of the drivers requested the higher fare of N8,500, while I requested N6,400; however, no driver accepted the ride, thus I was forced to pay N8,500. I noticed N11,000 while considering other options like Bolt, and they were all complaining about the shortage of petrol”, Azu continued.

The entry of these services has caused a disruption in the traditional Nigerian taxi service industry, and this is expected to continue for as long as the technology exists. This transport innovation has attracted private individuals and, recently, the government.