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Opinion: Competition in the Ride-Hailing Business is Disrupting the Transportation Industry in Uganda

The ride hailing business in Uganda is growing at a faster pace. We worry at one point we might not keep up with them. Last month a new moto-taxi hailing service, PiKiMe launched and a handful of people know its existence. Only this year alone if UberBoda and TaxifyBoda are consider, 7 hailing-services have launched in Uganda. To say; Mondo, Little Ride, Dial Jack, Taxido, and PikiMe.

Bukoto-based Orange moto-taxi hailing firm; SafeBoda launched in 2014, leveraging the business. Two years down the round, the company paved way for competitors Uber who launched in 2016. However, the two companies were serving different services but rather the same idea. At the time of the launch, Uber was only giving out cab services, while SafeBoda was only on Moto-taxi.

With the market in the ride hailing business leveraged by both parties (SafeBoda and Taxify) in their respective niche, Uber in 2017 got a competitor, Taxify. Taxify launched and like Uber, was operating as a cab service. The two transportation firms then realized that the country had wide usage of motorbikes around the city centre. Giving the two the idea to have a moto-taxi hailing as an option in their apps.

It’s worth knowing these moto-taxis are now innovative solutions in frontier markets and are the most common method of getting around in most/many areas around towns. They’re fast, efficient as well as very deadly.

Before Uber and Taxify launching their moto-taxi service, there were rumors of Mondo, and Little Ride plans to launch in Uganda. The two are are currently operating, however no official launch was done.

There launch comes after TaxifyBoda and UberBoda launch in February, and March respectively. In June, September, and October, Dial Jack, Taxido, and PikiMe respectively – launched. In total, this makes it 8 ride-hailing firms we know of – moto-taxi and cab service. Meanwhile, we haven’t listed cab services such as; Spesho, Friendship Taxi, Quick Taxi among other that are in the same business though not hailing companies.

App, Request Ride, and Rate Rider
Their operation is simple. The consumer electronically books a ride via a mobile application. Showing an estimated time to reach you as well as a price to your destination. Within a few minutes your ride reaches to you and off to your destination. After the rider ends the trip, the passenger rates the rider.

What happens to the rest?
So, where does this leave the ‘rest’ that don’t belong to any of these firms. Bodas, Taxis, Special Hires, and occasionally bicycle taxis. Traditional riders have attacked these ride-hailing riders blaming them for leveraging the market. In September a SafeBoda rider was attacked, breaking his passenger helmet. The company filed a compliant and was followed up, but media wasn’t informed on any feedback.

Inspector General of Police Okoth Ochola gave a directive to the Kampala Metropolitan Police commanders to ensure the protection of riders.

Ride-Hailing ServiceYear of LaunchServiceApp
SafeBoda2014Moto-TaxiiOS and Android
Uber2016 and 2018Cab and Moto-TaxiiOS and Android
Taxify2017 and 2018Cab and Moto-TaxiiOS and Android
Mondo2018Moto-TaxiiOS and Android
Little Ride2018Moto-TaxiiOS, Android, Windows, and Web
Dial Jack2018Moto-TaxiiOS and Android
Taxido2018Cab and Moto-TaxiiOS, Android, and Web

Share with us in the comment section some of the companies we could have missed out.

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