Let’s face it, the user experience in a yellow taxi for anywhere in the world used to be a punishment. You had to rely on the taxi driver’s mood to be picked up. He doesn’t like my face, maybe he’ll not pick me up. She’s had a fight with her husband, maybe she’ll just make a couple of men miserable by not giving them a ride. I’m not kidding! Sometimes, when I watch these movies about cab drivers kidnapping people or fighting with their customers out of sheer malice, I totally believe it, because I feel that in the heart of their hearts, they knew how dependent we were on them.
The introduction of cab apps like Uber and OGA changed that in a big way for Nigeria. where people used to argue about fares and distances, these apps gave the users absolute transparency and a clear across the board kind of rate that left little or no room for cheating.
Did the consumer welcome this change?
Well, not really. Nigeria has seen some terrible taxi issues and it did take a lot of time for the people to accept a new system for hailing a cab. You know, I spent a certain amount of time there in the country trying to identify and understand the kind of response this transition would breed and I sensed a lot of distrust amongst the users.
I can say without a shred of any doubt that the state of yellow cabs was pretty pathetic until a few years back. Now that there is so much competition in the same industry, suddenly the yellow cab drivers have started caring about the business. all of a sudden, they are interested in the way they can enhance customer experience. So, I say, all in all, it is quite a victory for the consumer.
What are the taxi services currently present in Nigeria?
The taxi mammoth first set foot in Lagos in the year 2014. However, how could the big guy have a small story. In just about 2 years, Uber has managed to record 1 million rides in Abuja and Lagos. Big numbers always get my toes tingling. I totally believe I am going to invest in an Uber clone app to make some money as well.
Although pretty much a standard taxi application, it’s user base is mostly limited to students in and around the areas of Enugu and Calabar. The concept of MyCabMan is not to make taxis cheaper for the people. it only focuses on helping people easily gain access to the cabs.
Oga has been going around quite well in Nigeria, because it truly understands what the users want. its interface is quite user friendly with features such as booking when no internet is available, emergency contacts, and scheduling rides for a later time.
IT essentially started in 2009 as a ‘call to book’ kind of service, but has now become accessible through an app as well. The sweet deal about this is that they provide FREE wifi in the cabs. Yay! I am such a sucker for freebies!
Afro was launched sometime in the year 2015 and seems to be going strong since then. I think Afro has been a really smart player because he helped people ease into the transition pretty seamlessly. So, instead of just reinventing the whole wheel, Afro became a platform for both, private cabs who were willing to give rides, as well as for the existing yellow cab drivers. The sweetest thing about Afro is that it allows a little bit of bargaining for the users! Also, who doesn’t like a neat AFRO!
The more I think about it the more I fall in love with the On demand taxi (business). You think a commoner (yes, I am being humble) can run an independent cab business just to buy Uber app clone? Although I have a fair bit of research to back me up, the mind still wonders. I think I’ll give it a shot and try one of the platforms that is promising and add a new twist to it with some other form of an on demand service as an offering!