Technology

Uber Nigeria takes on competition, ends UberSELECT service in Lagos

by FRANK ELEANYA

March 21, 2017 | 1:01 pm
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

Although Uber global leadership might be facing a lot of challenges at the moment, its subsidiary in Nigeria is unfazed and poised to take challengers in the ride-hailing business starting with the ending of its UberSELECT service in favour of Uber X.

In a message sent to members dated 16 March, 2017, Uber Nigeria announced that members will no longer be able to request an UberSELECT in Lagos. The change starts from midnight, 15 March 2017.

According to Uber Nigeria, the decision became necessary following feedback it received from riders on its platform.

“We have heard that many of you are happy using UberX. Given this feedback we will be focusing our efforts expanding and bettering the product you prefer,” Uber Nigeria said.

Uber said it is collaborating with driver partners to ensure riders enjoy higher quality UberX experience. Riders will also benefit from lower estimated times of arrival as more driver partners are made available around the city.

Uber users outside Lagos might be able to request the UberSELECT service however, since the message appears focused on the commercial city alone.

The decision is possibly in response to new competitions from ride-hailing services like Taxify, SmartCab and others. Even Kenya’s Safaricom’s Little is also reported to be mulling the Nigerian market and may launch this year.

Taxify which launched in November 2016, immediately went into a price slash that saw significant Uber riders switch to the new ride-hailing service. Users got as much as 40 percent discount from every ride. It also offered incentives to drivers, taking only 15 percent of fares and leaving the rest.

Another major competition is SmartCab launched in March 2017. Although the ride-hailing service is not particular price slash, its proposition of providing Airtel enabled internet WiFi as well as security utilities and insurance cover to ensure safety and protection of drivers as well as riders is equally tempting and could lure some Uber customers to the new platform.

UberX is the most basic private car service that Uber provides. It is also Uber’s cheapest option. It is very affordable, and is generally much cheaper than a traditional yellow cab. Many Uber riders in Lagos prefer it because of the low cost and it still comes with the convenience. Generally, vehicles under UberX must be in good condition, not less than 2006 or newer.

The car list for the service include Dodge Charger, Toyota Prius, BMW 3 Series, Kia Sorento & Optima, Ford Escape, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Escort, Hummer H3, Ford Fusion, Ford Crown Victoria, Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Equinox and Chrysler 200 & 300.

UberSELECT on the other hand is a luxurious step above UberX; but cost less than an Uber BLACK. Users that want to ride in style without burning a hole in their poctket, go for UberSELECT.

With the ending of UberSELECT, there are basically two Uber services available for Lagos riders, the UberX and Uber BLACK.

Uber BLACK comes at a much higher price as it involves the use of pricey luxury vehicles and top notch chauffeuring services to go with it.


by FRANK ELEANYA

March 21, 2017 | 1:01 pm
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

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