Residents in Abeokuta and Ibadan have started enjoying a low rate of bike fares, as O Ride has taken over the cities. Since they came to the two cities both taxi-cab drivers and bike riders have been experiencing low patronage as the o ride owners are smiling to the bank. Just like when they started in Lagos and took over from Gokada, hardly would you see ten bikes without seven of them being an O Pay Rider.
Recall that last year the Gokada was the first to launch its application in Lagos in a bid to change the face of transportation in Nigeria and subsequently Africa, Gokada had over 5,000 motorcycles in Lagos, Gokada is an on-demand motorbike hiking-service, aimed at leveraging technology to connect users to the nearest motorbikes within their areas, thereby helping them to beat the traffic.
Gokada operated within the Yaba Mainland axis and later started operations on Victoria Island to Lekki axis in Lagos.
What they did was finance the motorcycles and helmets to the riders and they pay a certain amount on a daily basis, and the motorcycle becomes their own after a year. The riders undergo certain training on safety measures before they were registered with the company, the company also ensures that they do comprehensive insurance for their riders in case of accidents.
On the 14th of August, 2019, Gokada has shut down operations to restrategize after their CEO faced ‘operational’ hurdles during a ride and promise to be back on the 26th of August.
In a media post, Gokada CEO and co-founder, Fahim Saleh, said, “all Gokada pilots will be off the roads and the Gokada app will be shut down,” within the period. Saleh said he was disappointed when a trip of 5 mins turned out to take more than 15 mins from the Mainland Bridge to Victoria Island.
While narrating his ugly experience with a Gokada rider, he asked, “How could I be the CEO of Gokada, the company that pioneered motorcycle ride-hailing in Nigeria and be experiencing this?
“I was disappointed in Gokada but most of all, I was disappointed in myself. I told the pilot to pull over to the side of the road, I would hop over the median and wait for an Uber. ‘This is what it has come to,’ I thought.” Other bike-hiking services are not left out. The problem Saleh faced is what a number of Nigerians have testified to while using various ride-hiking platforms. This is even with Google Maps for navigation.
Beyond navigation issues, some drivers have been known to take longer routes to their respective destinations in a bid to maximise profit. This has led to issues with riders on the apps. Saleh said the company would launch Gokada 2.0 to address some of the challenges faced by riders on the platform, including better navigation use.
Before then, in July 2019, O Ride, a new and innovative on-demand motorbike ride-hiking service launched its services in Lagos Nigeria with immediate expansion throughout Nigeria. Driven by technology, the O Ride service is accessible via the OPay app, a super app that’s available on Android and iOS, with features that cater to a range of lifestyles demands including food order and delivery, utility bills payment, cash access and more. Launched in May 2019, with initial operations flagging off in Lagos, the service has since expanded into other cities like Ibadan and Abeokuta. The service launches with ORide Green, its flagship motorbike models of 200cc engine specification aimed at servicing long-distance trip requests as well as O Ride Street, its lighter offering to cater to shorter intra-city trips.
O Ride is a solution to a myriad of transport challenges, particularly heavy traffic. The service offers flexible payment options including cash, card payment, and payment through the OPay app that allows riders to access promotional offerings.
ORide Iniabasi Akpan, Country Manager at O pay says “About 25-30% of the Nigerian adult population is uneducated, poor, and has little or no access to financial services. As a business, we exist to remove the barriers to financial services and access to a better quality of life for the underprivileged and the financially excluded. Through our business operations, we provide opportunities for operators and users in the less formal and informal sector to access the tools, training, skills and finance they need for a better life leveraging the use of mobile phones and technology
ORide is just one of those channels we consider vital to achieving our goals of providing access to financial services and improving the quality of life of low-income families. There are also several other social benefits of ORide, which include the potential to create more than 100,000 tax-paying jobs, easing the movement of people and goods, and boosting commerce and entrepreneurship.” A huge emphasis has been placed on driver training and safety. Several steps have been taken to ensure this.
Ridwan Olalere, Director of Product says “All ORide motorbike riders have been trained by safety professionals – our first training resulted in a 50% pass rate. We have then taken steps to hold a monthly class for the riders. ORide All ORide motorbikes come with a pre-adjusted speed limit of 60kmph. Also, the motorbikes have unique tracking devices attached to them and can be tracked online in real-time”. Both riders and passengers who take ORide are covered by comprehensive insurance and will also have access to 24hrs customer support service. In addition, Riders have access to healthcare. Customers can download the Opay app now on iOS and Android or from the ORide website and for this July, pay only N200 for every trip they take that’s less than N2000. Download the OPay app on the Google Play Store or iOS app store. About ORide ORide is an on-demand motorbike ride-hiking service created with the vision to solve the transportation challenge of getting people and goods to their destination, in a timely and safe fashion.
ORide is a service featured in the OPay app About Opay: OPay is a company founded by Opera Norway AS group in 2018 to offer unique payment solutions for businesses and retail customers in Nigeria, Kenya and across Africa. In August 2018, Opay was launched as a product in Nigeria and since then, it’s been on a journey of constant growth. In December, OPay processed 11 Billion Naira working with over 5,000 agents.
The rush for riders and customers in Abeokuta is totally different as the company began its promo since the beginning of August till the end, where all trips go for fifty naira only no matter how far. This explains why everyone will ride with them in order to pay fifty naira for a trip worth five hundred naira. For the riders, they get a brand new android phone, helmet and two branded jackets. Anyone living in Kuforiji axis area of Abeokuta can testify to the traffic at the O Pay office in the area, where riders are struggling to get registered. An inside source also disclosed that their site has crashed many times because of the traffic of passengers and riders, sometimes you see them on the roadside with their phone struggling to pay with the network at the end of each trip.
A major complaint from Ibadan is from taxi-cab drivers and regular bikers, they are being neglected as passengers will rather ride O Ride to pay less.