Once upon a time, all there was to public transportation was hopping on buses or hailing taxis on the roadsides. Then came the e-taxi era with the arrival of global ride company, Uber in Nigeria in 2014. Since then, when it came to getting comfortable rides across the city of Lagos, Uber was the only deal. However, last year, the game changed with the arrival of Estonian-founded e-hailing app Taxify to Nigeria. Since then, Taxify seems to be the only real competitor able to challenge Uber in the e-taxi sector in the country. Thus sets the stage for our battle of the substitutes for this week: Taxify vs Uber: who is better?
For Uber, it says the motivation behind its formation came from the desire of their founders who had trouble hailing a cab in 2008. Thus began what would eventually be a multi-national company present in four hundred cities in most continents around the world. In Nigeria, Uber started in 2014. Taxify is an Estonian international transport company operating in 18 countries on 4 continents. Taxify also became the second e-hailing app in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
Uber was launched in Lagos in 2014 while Abuja was included last year. However, in 2016, Uber announced that it has reduced its coverage of Lagos to the upmarket Lagos island areas of Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki and closer mainland neighborhoods like Yaba. As for Taxify, its coverage is limited to Lagos only but with a wider coverage.
Now to the good stuff that everyone has been expecting. How do their fares compare. For Uber in Lagos, there is a base fare of N200, a N5.5 per minute charge and a N55 per km charge. In Abuja, the base fare is slightly higher at N220 while costs per kilometer and per minute are the same. Per kilometer and per minute? This is where it gets interesting. Uber charges per minute when the driver is idle, like in Lagos traffic and per kilometer when the driver is in motion. Fares are then calculated based on what the traffic is expected to look like. For Taxify, as at the time of writing this, Taxify has a base fare of N300, N65 per km and N6 per minute. Not much of a difference! Both companies however claim that prices are subject to demand. Let’s take them for a spin at 5pm from Okota to Four Points by Sheraton on the Island. On UberX, fares ranged from N1850 to N2400. For Taxify, it seems you get your bill at the end of the ride- a little risky if you ask me.
So there you have it. Taxify vs Uber, Who do you think is better?