Ride-sharing is relatively new in the Nigerian transportation scene. However, it has within its short period of existence, proven to be a better and more suitable alternative to the traditional ‘hailing’ taxis. Ride-sharing offers a host of benefits to its users that traditional taxis fail to do. Here, we are going to list some of the reasons that give ride-sharing and edge over taxis.
- Pricing – The pricing of traditional taxis are usually high, unchanging, inflexible and sometimes set by government regulators. Ride-sharing services have their prices set by market forces, are low and flexible. Jekalo for example charges for as low as N250 for commutes.
- Ease of payment – For traditional taxis, payments are more often than not by cash only. Also, having change for high denomination notes is almost always an issue. In Nigeria, Jekalo offers exclusively cashless method for payment. This is highly convenient, seamless and secure.
- Discounts and promotions – These are never available on traditional taxis. Ride-sharing services constantly offer discounts and promotions as incentives to woo customers onto the platform.
- Knowledge of fare ahead of time – Customers are made aware of the cost of the fare before booking on ride-sharing platforms. This is unavailable as regards traditional taxis.
- Communication with driver before/after ride – On ride-sharing platforms, passengers can contact drivers by text or calls though their contact information provided by the ride-sharing service. For traditional taxis, this is almost impossible.
- Innovation – Ride-sharing services come with technological innovation. Jekalo for example, has a smartphone app that can be utilized by passengers to check for available rides, join rides, update their profiles, communicate with the driver and many more. For traditional taxis, this is quite impossible.
- Possibility of retrieving items forgotten in vehicle – On ride-sharing services, this is quite simple. The passengers just need to get in touch with the drivers themselves or with the ride-sharing company. This is almost impossible on the traditional taxi platform, as commutes via taxis are with total strangers.
- Quality and cleanliness of vehicle – Vehicles on ride-sharing platforms are generally clean, in good shape and road worthy. Most come with air conditioning and are comfortable to commute in. Traditional taxis are known to be old, rickety, without air-conditioning and generally uncomfortable. They range from average to poor in this respect.
Flowing from the aforementioned points, it is quite evident why ride-sharing services will soon gain a foothold in the Nigerian transportation sector scene. It is foreseeable that they have come to stay. The displacement of the traditional taxi services might seem like a pipe-dream but underestimating the power of tech and innovation has proven time and again to be a losing battle.