BusinessDay

Ride-hailing market sees stiff competition as affordability tops Nigerians’ preference

As more players make their way into the app-based taxi/cab-hailing business in Nigeria, the market expansion is causing tighter competition among companies jostling for market share.

Transportation is an essential part of human activity and thus, takes a significant share of a person’s income. But with declining incomes, rising transport costs have eaten more in the pockets of people.

The average intercity bus price paid by Nigerians increased to N3,758.46 in July 2022 from N3,662.87 in June 2022, representing a 2.61 percent month-over-month rise. This means that Nigerians are paying more money to transport themselves. The fares increased 47.85 percent year over year from N2,542.02 in July 2021. This is according to the recently released National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)’s July 2022 transportation fare report.

While the pandemic caused demand for ride-hailing services to plunge, competitors exploited it to build on their competitors’ weaknesses and find new places to outrun them to gain market share.

With a standard price charged on a trip among ride-hailing apps, like Uber and Bolt, others such as Indriver and Rida have taken a turn around to help curb high fares, as they allow passengers to negotiate fare prices with the drivers.

One of the new entrants like the Moove, under Uber, which came into existence in 2020, has seen to change the narrative of charging fares as low as N400, and operates mainly on the island, while others charge as low as N800.

Read also: Lagos emerges worst in Numbeo traffic index

“Uber Go is a God-sent ride on the island. Sometimes you may spend as low as 400 on a ride,” Fabian Ebhohimen, an asset & investment consultant said.

Olutayo Adeyeye, Financial analyst and CEO of Vite empire also said “The best on the island is Uber Go and can even get rides as low as N450, while for Bolt the lowest fare I have ever paid is N800 but recently increased to N1000.”

Another commuter, who would rather remain anonymous, has used four ride-hailing services, and attests that Rida is better for long-distance travels, Uber Go is better for a short distance, especially those on the island, and Bolt is better for urgent short trips on the mainland.

“Rida is very cheap for a long-distance trip, Uber Go is a God-sent ride on the island, and Bolt is quick to find,” he said.

Ben Onyekachi, a creative strategist/event planner, said “With InDriver and Rida you can bargain with the driver for a selected amount. Even if there is traffic for 10 hours it’s still the bargained amount you will still pay, but Uber and Bolt are something else, especially when in traffic and there is surge. I ordered a ride from Ikotun to Iyana ipaja, and I was charged over N4,000. That day I almost ran mad.”

Chiedu Daniels, a photographer said “For cheaper rides I use Indriver. Though most of the drivers are rough. It’s hard to find an in-driver driver that is well-mannered and uses a clean car to do his business. The price range is relatively smaller than the likes of Uber and Bolt.”

He also said in terms of the quality of the driver and the car they use he prefers Uber, but in terms of cheaper rides, Indriver. In terms of availability when needed the most, Bolt.

For John Favour, a real estate consultant noted, he uses InDriver in most times. It is “much preferable because you can negotiate fees which don’t vary as regards traffic, unlike Uber and Bolt. I also use Rida, which is negotiable but not so efficient because some destinations are not geo-mapped which makes it difficult for the end user to book a ride.”

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