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Have Change or Not: Safeboda Uganda Now Allows its Passengers to Ride Cashless

A safeboda rider pictured helping out a young lady with wearing her helmet as she gets ready to take on with the ride. (Photo Courtesy: Quartz)

A safeboda rider pictured helping out a young lady with wearing her helmet as she gets ready to take on with the ride. (Photo Courtesy: Quartz)

Moto-Taxis are now innovative solutions in frontier markets and are becoming the most common method of getting around in most/many areas around our towns. They’re (Moto-taxis) are strongly regulated; drivers wear helmets, reflective vests, follow the traffic laws, and carry an extra one for their passenger who also does wear a helmet.

Famously known safe moto-taxi in Uganda; SafeBoda, has successfully leveraged their competitive advantages-drivers operating under a known, quality brand and the consumer’s ability to electronically hail a safeboda. Similar to Uber, the drivers are notified if a fare is nearby.

On acquiring a safeboda, passengers pay after they have reached their destination. However, riders and passengers have a faced a problem of not having enough change with them. This affects the riders most, a passenger might have a huge sum of money and the rider might ‘by that time’ not have enough change to give back. So what could be the solution to this?

The riding sharing platform last week announced that it had launched a virtual mobile wallet to allow its users to top-up their rides credit with MTN and Airtel Money with ease in a move expected to help ride cashless and worry less if they have enough change or not in their next rides.

Asides from the announcement, the SafeBoda team states that their goal is to be established in countries that need a market-based solution to solve transportation challenges – they want to make cities smarter. They believe that their model can work in many other countries, as they work on expanding to Kigali, Kenya, West Africa, and India given their large informal transportation markets – in the nearby future.

The firm last year received USD$229,000 (roughly 824 million UGX) from London-based GIF to bring sanity on Kampala roads, reduce motorcycle accidents and also create jobs for the city’s youth.

Notably, what we may know about Safeboda:

  1. They provide safe working environment to their riders and, then increase their income.
  2. They have successfully recruited over 1000 riders and then given them a comprehensive driving and safety training course.
  3. All SafeBoda riders sign a ‘Code of Conduct’ agreeing to be punctual, have sufficient fuel, and maintain their bikes properly.
  4. Safeboda riders are not allowed to ride with more than one passenger.
  5. The current SafeBoda app was developed by SafeBoda engineers with Hehe labs; a Rwandan tech firm that operates out of a tech hub in Kigali called The Office – having developed the very first ever app.

Editor’s Note: This story has been update with help from SafeBoda.

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