Safe Boda – An African Dedicated Uber

The demand on the safe and convenient public transportation always exists everywhere. That is why Uber or Halio are popular in the developed countries for the citizens. Then what about the developing countries such as Uganda?

I would like to share the application service called “Safe Boda”. The application is being made by 4 co-founders in Kampala to make the world better place with ICT technology.

Boda means motorcycle taxi in Ugandan language. Motorcycle taxis rule the road in this capital city, where estimates of the number of “boda bodas” ferrying passengers around town range from 65,000 to the hundreds of thousands. That’s at least five times more bodas than New York has yellow cabs.

Even though the numbers of Bodas are five times more than the yellow cabs of New York, it is too risky to take Boda for the transportation. Uganda road deaths are about twice the average of its African peers that results in losses of 2.9% of its GDP (WHO, 2013). Boda-boda accidents are a leading cause of injury and death. Less than 1% of boda boda passengers wear a helmet.

What Safe Boda provides are two things. First the Safe Boda provides orange coloured helmets for the driver and the passengers. Second, to differentiate with other boda service in Kamapla, the company provides orange coloured vest for the driver.

The algorithm of this application is simple. SafeBoda lets anyone with a smartphone choose a motorcyclist that has been trained in defensive driving, first aid, traffic rules and motorcycle maintenance. The drivers wear bright orange helmets and vests, and always carry a helmet for passenger use. In the coming months, customers will be able to rate their trip experience through the app. The system will crowd-source driver ratings, allowing customers to reward those who drive safely.

By the report of local press, the service has been launched as a pilot stage around a month ago. Not like Uber or Halio, the service does not provide in-application purchase based on your credit card account. You have to pay more if you use Safe Boda compared with the legacy boda service. However they rack up more fares from regular customers who value a safe ride.

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