The prominence of motorcycle taxis in East Africa(Bodaboda) and West Africa(Okada) is prompting companies to launch motorcycle services to meet local needs in order to be part of the mobility solution in some of Africa’s big cities. Earlier today, Uber announced the launch of their motorcycle taxi service UberBoda in Nairobi, Kenya, six months after launching the service in Kampala, Uganda.
The Boda service is aimed at providing residents of Nairobi with quick and affordable commute options across the city using the Uber app and is set to compete with Taxify which launched its Boda service in March, Uganda-based SafeBoda which launched in Kenya just three months ago, and other services like GetBoda, VutaRide and BusyBoda.
According to Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Vice President, Uber, Europe Middle East and Africa, although a global brand, the company understand the significance of building technology to meet the needs of the local market and is excited for the UberBoda launch in Kenya. “We will continue to invest our technology in products like UberBoda that seek to support local businesses while providing another safe, reliable and convenient choice for passengers,” said Gore-Coty.
UberBoda is the company’s first motorcycle service venture in Africa, and second globally after Asia. As with Uber cars, UberBoda will provide the same seamless door to door Uber experience passengers are used to, but on motorcycles, which are more affordable and a faster option for short trips and beating traffic within the city.
“Passengers will still be able to see all their driver-partners details, such as their name, photo, and license plate number. Passengers can also see whether others have had a good experience with the UberBoda driver and they will be able to contact each other via the app if there is any confusion around pick-up details,” Gore-Coty said.
Uber says it has met all the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) driver requirements and additional road safety training and all its riders will undergo a strict screening process and will be required to have all relevant permits in order to operate on the Uber app.
They will also attend an information session which will include education on the Uber app as well as road safety tips. Riders and passengers will be provided with a helmet and reflective jacket and will benefit from Injury Protection provided by UAP-Old Mutual as from December 21, 2018.
In a bid to keep up with trends and serve the needs of passengers and driver-partners around the world, Uber is often at the forefront of product innovation with a variety of products in their app. In Kenya alone, Uber has UberCHAPCHAP, UberX, UberSELECT, UberPOA and now UberBoda.