The whole fascination about hail-a-ride bodas, that have hit the market with now about 3 major players, had not yet come to my plate of experimentation. I am sometimes a laggard I must admit, despite operating in the fields of marketing and communications.
My hail-a-ride Boda experience ‘appeared’ to me this week. I had apparently got stuck in Bugolobi’s Friday lunch-time traffic and opted to leave the car by the roadside so that I could ‘grab a jaj’ and make it to my ‘close-a-sale’ meeting in time.
The meeting was at Mirembe House on Lugogo Bypass and my other colleague had just informed me that she was on her way to the place on a ‘boda-boda’.
I signalled the nearest Boda guy and started the negotiations. We settled at 4000shs to the place.
For obvious reasons, I thanked God and told myself that it would be the very last time I would use one, as soon as I got off that ride, paid the guy, met up with Clare my colleague to leave for the meeting. And that is where it all begun!
She shocked me when she told me that she had paid exactly 1500shs for that Taxify ride from Serena. Of course, I was in shock! I mean, clearly, Serena is further than Bugolobi in respect to where our meeting was to be held.
I had literally paid for three rides over a shorter distance. I was bemused! I felt all cocktails of anger. In fact, for the very first time, I felt like the OTT, #SocialMediaTax was not painful…at all!
Of course, the entire time she was going on and on about how she had managed to hail the ride using their app but, I was still lost in my vengeance thoughts; thinking of all ways I could call back the other guy and punch him in his face.
After the successful meeting, I kindly asked her to hail one for me as well to Kisekka market. She showed me the estimates; 2500shs! I laughed. I walked over to one of the stage Boda guys and asked how much it would cost and he confidently told me 7000shs.
I walked back and waited for that Taxify guy who was there in about 5 minutes.
And that my friends, was the beginning of my experience.
At the end of that ride, I felt the urge to give that guy 7 stars! It was a splendidly comfortable ride; respecting all traffic lights, riding at the far left of the road, constantly asking me if I am comfortable with the speed, and exercising a lot of caution with other Boda bodas.
I have never felt safer on a boda-boda before! I felt safe, yes, but I also felt the need to say something about boda-boda regulation.
We have thrown a lot of debate on boda-boda regulation for safety and security in Kampala but often come up with no solutions.
The problem has been finding models that work and can be monitored and regulated by authorities.
KCCA, please think no more, these hail-a-ride bodas are the ultimate solution!
This is as simple as forcing all boda-bodas operating in Kampala to be part of these companies or one started and operated by KCCA.
It is a potential revenue stream for the authority but also, a very good measure for regulating boda-bodas in Kampala; monitoring movements, managing numbers, understanding cash flows, ensuring safety and security of passengers and citizens at large, creating uniformity in the city, regulating prices and thus creating value-for-money for passengers and so much more!
Let’s start a whole new safe boda experience.
Bonny Tamale is a Marketing and Communications Specialist.