Bukoto based ride-hailing firm, Safeboda on Sunday at the Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala celebrated 5 years with the Cabinet Minister of Kampala Capital City Authority, Honorable Betty Kamya and Ronald Amanyire, Secretary at National Road Safety Council in attendance.
The orange-colored company gathered with its riders and their families in their bi-annual party to celebrate not just 5 years existence in Uganda, but the service its riders have offered to their customers. To-date Safeboda has 8,000+ riders, and predicts to reach 10,000 in the next two months, and 30,000 in total for 2019.
Safeboda today is one of the most successful startups in Uganda, as well as the biggest motorcycle-hailing service beating its competitors like, Uberboda, Taxifyboda, DialJack, among others. The company who officially launched in 2014 with about 20 riders have proved they can dominate the industry they pioneered.
Meanwhile the bi-annual party was — was also an arena for the riders to air out some of their issues. In presence of Betty Kamya, and Ronald Amanyire, the company raised two concerns they wish the government of Uganda could implement.
Speaking on behalf of the company, Rapa Thomson Ricky and his co-founders; Maxime Dieudonne, and Alastair Sussock — asked the government—one, to reduce on the tax imposed on permits and second, to create parking lanes at traffic light points dedicated for bodas.
“We’re asking as safeboda if our government could consider creating parking lanes to reduce on the risks of our riders from being knocked by other vehicles as well motorists,” Ricky told press, on Sunday Evening. Ricky added that its riders have raised this issue of being knocked especially on traffic light points.
“We’re good riders, we follow rules, therefore to avoid some of these accidents from happening, we need these lanes for better protection to our riders,” said Ricky.
Answering to all these concerns, Betty Kamya said the government appreciates the tax boda riders pay. However, reducing the tax is handled by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Roads and Works. She however, said, quote “we at the Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA), are willing to support this.” “Government can’t ignore you, we shall sit down with you and discuss our way forward,” she added.
On the other hand, Betty said the road policy handled by KCCA ensures that for every new road that is going to be constructed will have motorcycle lanes, as well as for pedestrians. While we have seen miss-use of road lanes, Betty says the public should use the advantage of today’s technology to report such incidents.
“If you see a car or a track, parking in a motorcycle lane, take a picture of it and post it on social media and tag the authorities who will then handle the issue,” Betty told press. “Use the advantage of today’s technology, capture the license plates send them via social media, and the rest will be handled by the authorities,” she added.
Ronald Amanyire seconded Betty’s comments, and said the issues raised will be passed onto the board of Ministry of Roads and Works. He however called for patience as these could at times take awhile to be implemented.
Betty applauded safeboda for its service, and pledged the government to support the initiative. She appreciated the work the company has done in raising the reputation of the boda boda industry.
She however, noted on the issue of organizing boda stages. Betty said the authority is working to see that all boda stages are organized and registered for better management. However, with the rise of ride-hailing services, she said will shall require no stages—to adopt the stageless environment. But the stages will still exist.
Notably, during the press brief, Ricky touched on the issue of fare increment — which raised a lot of concern with their customers. He said that the company increased the fare by 12% to favor its riders. Pointing out factors like increase fuel prices, delay in traffic (during peak hours) — that don’t favor the riders.
In a tweet, safeboda, says the change was put into consideration to be able to continue to provide a reliable and convenient service and also to ensure that their rides are also benefiting.[related-posts]