SafeBoda Vs. Taxify Boda Vs. Uber Boda

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uber vs taxify vs safeboda

Motorcycle (Boda Boda) hailing services have won the hearts of Ugandans. Boda-bodas have flooded Kampala, you could say it is the modern-day version of the Egyptian plagues in the Bible.

It was from way back that Boda bodas were known for middle income status citizens, but now you can pass by your favorite celeb on a SafeBoda (Earnest Bazanye, was that you at Kamwokya Kisementi?), or even that radio presenter you dream to meet (Hey Rudende)

Integrating Boda Boda services into technology, that one can hail a boda boda from any place around Kampala using a phone application and be picked is the trend. Kampalans being fancy people who enjoy instant and fast things (i.e fast foods) have appreciated the ease that comes with using a few MBs just to get a Boda guy collect you from your favorite Kafunda.

This of course has come with its outcomes, for some smiles and for others a hell of a bad day.

Ride-hailing services started with Uber, which set ground in Uganda in 2016. This was for the corporate class who didn’t have cars or probably had cars but preferred having a driver take them home (maybe drunk from a bar). But who enjoys sitting in a traffic jam for an hour or two?

Safe Boda, a motorcycle hailing service came to save the day with a tech solution, a mobile application made in Kampala for Kampalans. This idea was one of its kind in Uganda, and everyone wanted to try it out. After learning of their success, mastering their strengths and weaknesses, TaxifyBoda joined the market (the motorcycles came after the cars) and later UberBoda (greedy to monopolize this ride hailing market, from cars to now bodas? Wow Uber, Y’all have guts)

The BIG question everyone would want to know is, after flooding this boda boda hailing market, who is winning and who is sucking at their job.

Before I delve into my findings and viewpoints about these 3 giant monopolists in the boda boda hailing service, let it be clear that this is my opinion based on experience and crowd-sourced information. We may clash here and there, but I am certain you shall have to side with me on one point or another.

The Pricing

This is most times a deal breaker for many of the passengers. I personally can’t afford to spend my data and yet be highly charged.

Taking a SafeBoda from the city centre to Ggaba for my first time cost me UGX:4500, and a Taxify boda was at UGX: 3000. Normally, an everyday Boda can take you at around UGX: 5500 for that same journey.

Don’t get lost though in the cheap vs. expensive theory, a lot of factors affect pricing and this of course includes time (You don’t want to be caught up by traffic on these bodas). A friend told me Taxify charges surge expenses, which overshoot the prices from normal.

OPINION: Generally, Taxify boda is a bit cheaper than Safeboda. When Taxify boda had just dominated the market, the rumor was they incentified their rides, and also gave their motorcycle riders bonuses for these very cheap rides. On the other hand, Safe Boda’s prices are quite affordable and cheap as compared to your normal boda.

Uber Boda is fresh in the market, and when I asked a friend who used it, she stated that it was more expensive than SafeBoda and Taxify boda BUT cheaper than your normal Boda (So my estimation for an Uber Boda from the city center to Ggaba could be around UGX: 5000)

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The Uber Boda community should consider that this motorcycle business is predominantly for the middle-income status citizens, and you can’t think of imposing almost similar charges for your car rides as for the boda-bodas, that is outrageous.

The good thing about all these three ride-hailing services is that they have different promotions; some daily, others basing on the credit you load –  BUT SafeBoda stands out at giving awesome promotions for example; The last time I was at DesignHub, it was a free offer for an event which SafeBoda sponsored and gave cheat codes fashioned for particularly that event, and many other events organized around town.

Read Also : My unbiased Review about Safeboda App

Reliability and Availability

Every Wednesday evenings find me at Bugolobi, and the traffic jam to cut through up to Bandali rise (some rich people street in Bugolobi) can be hectic, so it’s either a Boda Boda or I bare arriving late.

I either use Taxify Boda, because its cheap or SafeBoda, because it is reliable.

A friend threw a joke at me saying, “If you are to take a Taxify Boda, do it before bathing because the guy will take like an hour before arriving”. I thought this was a mean remark BUT when I tried to hail a Taxify boda from Ntinda, there were barely any riders. The nearest was at Kisementi (Can you imagine?)

SafeBoda has over 7000 riders allover Kampala and nearby localities, it by far is the hailing service with the most riders. It’s competitors (UberBoda and Taxify) have a half of this number or less. This literally implies that a SafeBoda can easily be available than an Uber Boda or a Taxify Boda.

OPINION: Out of every 10 Boda bodas, 3 are Safe Bodas and 1 could be a Taxify. The last thing you want to go through is to arrive late for a meeting hoping that an Uber Boda or Taxify shall come to your rescue only to cancel and re-try searching and putting all your hopes in luck, yet this is technology and statistics NOT a good luck charm.

The Service

Because they learnt about the politeness and general etiquette followed by the SafeBoda community, UberBoda and TaxifyBoda thought they knew it all BUT their true colors unveiled.

These SafeBoda chaps go for an intensive training for about a month or two (not sure) learning about traffic laws and customer care tactics, they even opened up a school for them, Beat that!

There have been complaints about SafeBoda riders who have misrepresented the brand by acting roudy and unruly, and because it is so easy to identify them, reports have been made to the company from where they have been dealt with.

Here is why I think SafeBoda has got the best service among all these giants;

First, every SafeBoda rider has got an extra helmet for a client, and this is not the norm for UberBoda or TaxifyBoda.

Secondly, it is on a rare case that you find a SafeBoda rider without a hairnet BUT that is the norm for TaxifyBoda riders who are lucky enough to own a helmet. I won’t lie about Uber Bodas, but a friend told me it is the same case with them.

Thirdly, SafeBoda riders assist you when putting on your helmet. However small it might seem, this customer care tactic retains customers.

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SafeBoda has got its flaws though when it comes to service delivery for-example: It is very common to land on someone on Twitter or Facebook complaining about a rider who started the journey before picking the passenger. I wonder if the SafeBoda community has dealt with this, but this is obviously not good PR for them.

Application usability

Have you ever tried hailing a Safeboda and the application told you that there are no riders in your locality, only to walk to the main road and about 10 Safebodas without passengers pass you by in a row? (the anger you feel is similar to the one OTT incites)

This usually happens in the very morning hours and evening hours (don’t be shocked when it happens to you at some weird hour). This is the time when the Boda boda riders have probably not yet switched on/off their applications, but at some points, it is a problem with the application’s functionality.

When SafeBoda introduced the “Pairing feature” it was indeed a joy for its ardent users, BUT it turns out that this feature can tend to be sketchy. Elary, one of my cool friends whose loyalty is to SafeBoda said he lost his shot at using a SafeBoda to a lecture because the pairing feature refused to work and when he resorted to searching for nearby bodas (which were exactly at that boda stage he was at), the app claimed there are no riders in your area. If this and more continues to happen, SafeBoda will lose a whole lot of brand loyal customers.

The good thing with Taxify and UberBoda, they will tell you there are no bodas in your locality and indeed there aren’t any. Atleast they will allocate you to a faraway boda, and you choose whether to wait or cancel. Their accuracy though needs to be worked on (many users have complained about it)

THE STAR SYNDROME: One of the very best options about these rides is that you can rate your rider with stars, this is an option for all the applications. TaxifyBoda and UberBoda took it a notch higher to offer an option where you can write a comment. I think this is more accurate and substantial than the stars, and SafeBoda should think of it.

Giving a rider all the stars yet he has given you a shitty service doesn’t help the company address such an issue, so you’re doing yourself and other users of the application a disservice. (Some riders beg for the stars with those “Please help me faces”, yet they were over speeding and some after causing a whole mess on the road)

All in all, SafeBoda should think about adding the option of comments because it will help them get enough information which is not as pseudo as the stars can be.

The interfaces of all the three applications are user friendly, though the Taxify application is different from UberBoda and SafeBoda. How? You need to use it to find out.

Access

SafeBoda, UberBoda and Taxify are all found on the Google Play Store and App store, very accessible and most of all FREE to use applications.

At its start, SafeBoda had registered complaints of iPhone users due to a lot of bugs in their app, these have been gradually fixed.

The SafeBoda application has had breakdowns more usual than one would expect, and these have obviously affected their returns. This has not been the case with their competitors Taxify and Uber. SafeBoda as a community should think about anticipating such breakdowns, because it has very wide customer base which it doesn’t want to lose to its other competitors.

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Here are the different links to downloading these awesome apps.

The Branding

The SafeBoda Orange is striking. From the Helmets to the transparent vests, a safeboda can’t pass you by without being noticed. The uniqueness has made SafeBoda as a brand stand out. Actually, even before you think twice when you see it from a far, you know that it is a SafeBoda approaching. This is good for Branding, because for any business, you at least need to stick in the faces of people, so that they are always reminded of you.

TaxifyBoda uses green and blue helmets for it’s branding. The transparent vests are green. Some of it’s riders don’t have these things, which puts Taxify in a bad position if it is to compete with a company like SafeBoda when it comes to visibility.

Black for branding UberBoda doesn’t stick, but because that is what the Uber portfolio has for its colors – I wonder if they had any options? Normal bodas have black helmets, so it is hard to spot uber and for it to stick in someone’s mind. You might argue that there is a logo, BUT if my query is; if someone saw you at first glance, would they remember that that was Uber Boda?

I have ever used a TaxifyBoda which had a different number plate from the one which was on the application. To ruin the whole thing, he didn’t have anything that showed he was a Taxify driver other than the phone and the application. The only reason I took this ride was because I was in an area where that was the only option available. I reported this BUT my worry is that this STAR SYNDROME (and commenting) might not be well valued as the instant returns are.

Every SafeBoda has a number and a name on their vest, so if a Safeboda happened to knock a person down and ran away, all you have to do is to spot his number. This is not the case for Uber Boda and Taxify Boda.

The good thing is that if you forgot your jacket with any of these riders, you can easily get your property back.

CONCLUSION

Safeboda has won the hearts of Kampalans, with mostly it’s servicing, branding and discount offers. The word SafeBoda attracts Safety & Security, which any customer who takes a SafeBoda praises about them (those ninjas follow traffic rules)

Taxify has tried to steal some of SafeBodas loyal customers due to it’s cheap rides, BUT their customer care services are still lacking. They should probably invest more time in training their riders on how to better this, as well as considering consistency in branding.

UberBoda is quite a mess, they should quit the boda boda market or think better strategies to build their customer base, otherwise the car business should be working for them quite well.

If you think otherwise, please share your opinion with me in the comment section below and let’s have this discussion.