As it stands, if I’m to go with and my colleages usage and mine as well, Uber is losing quite a lot of business. We moved, some to Taxify and others to Little. We still keep the app, it’s sitting on the app drawer, only thing it’s doing there is mining data on my phone and knows that I have the other apps, probably knows which I’m using (story for another day). But Rich Tanksley here seems to be painting a very gloomy image of Uber, and taxi hailing apps in Nigeria.
He says that drivers have moved en-masse to Uber and are doing their part to game the system. Stay with both apps but will give priority to Taxify, as will riders. Basically when you request a cab on Uber, the number that shows available is too low compared to how it was a few months back. Many resort to requesting Taxify.
So here is what is happening. When you open the Uber app, there are maybe 5 cars in all of Lagos available. This used to be hundreds. But now since there are no cars available, Uber’s system corrects this by putting in surge pricing. So now as a rider, I have to pay 2.7 times the usual rate because Uber pissed off their drivers. So what do I do? I cancel and call at Taxify instead. Taxify now has on average 5 times the cars available as Uber.
If there is no surge, I call and Uber and a Taxify at the same time. The one that actually gets to me faster gets my business, I cancel the other one. The thing is, the drivers are now doing the same thing since loyalty went out the door weeks ago. The drivers drive on both apps. So just when it looks like your Uber is about to arrive, he takes a diversion, because he is also actually dropping off a Taxify rider as well. Both riders and drivers are gaming the system and the end result is they both lose. Even more terrible service for the riders, and drivers now get more cancellations then before.
And it started with the same events as it was with Kenya. Little Cab enters the market and Uber drastically drops fares to own Little, drivers riot. Little lowers even further (I understand that Safaricom throws in some incentive to fill in the amounts earned by the driver), Riders start moving to Little. Also assisted by the software upgrade that made the Little app useable. It was a mess previously.
The other alternative is Taxify, very low fares. We did a comparison article to show how each compares, and this has remained the same ever since.
I don’t expect that things will go back to where they were before organized taxi, but this market is getting very interesting, even for Uber which started this.