When Uber launched in Nigeria to fix transportation by making personal rides cheaper than regular taxis and make mobility easier and accessible from anywhere, we all hoped they’d launch in the southeast, Owerri to be precise but unfortunately, Uber or Taxify still thinks Lagos is a country.
Fast forward to December 2017, a ride-hailing app service – Urudrive from Ghana debuted in Owerri to make good of the human and parcel mobility experience by making it cheaper and accessible from anywhere but users don’t think the startup is doing just that.
Uru’s success in acquiring its 600+ users in Owerri wasn’t really much of a headache because residents were already familiar with the concept of ride-hailing. but it’s also on the verge of losing more than half of those numbers because of very expensive trip fairs and lack of drivers.
On Twitter, a user was quick to lament that Uru cost about 4 times the amount for a trip using public transport, saying a trip from the Federal University of technology, Owerri to Shoprite cost about N400 via public transport and about N2,800 via uru. That 6 times expensive, especially for a 30 minutes journey.
Although Uru says a good number of people are okay with its prices and some are not, saying they put drivers as well as users into consideration to determine trip fares. We at 4kreport did an in-house test estimate and found out Uru charge more on short distances compared to long trips whose fare seems to be okay/ not so expensive for personalised business/travel option.
We did a survey with about 100 residents aged between 17-25 in Owerri, 50% said prices for rides are expensive, 35% says they tried using Uru but couldn’t find a driver 10 minutes after booking for a ride and 15% says they find it hard using uru in areas of low network connectivity and other technical related issues.
Concerning this issue a spokesperson from Uru told 4kreport “ Uru is still a startup and you dont expect us to just come and gain grounds in a short period. We are growing an increasing our coverage of drivers to satisfy passengers as well as making prices favourable to both parties”.