On Monday, June 7, 2021, US-based ride-hailing platform, Uber, announced the official launch of UberX Hourly in Nigeria.
With this new feature, riders can stop at multiple locations to carry out activities without requesting several rides.
What this means is that you can book a ride to an event centre but also stop by the pharmacy to get drugs or the supermarket to grab a few things with the same ride. Of course, you can’t do all that with the initial amount paid.
How it works is, on the Uber app, you can order a ride as usual, but this time, you’d select an Hourly Driver. Then, put in your destination and send your driver an in-app message to discuss how much time you think you might spend on all trips. Upfront charges are based on the minimum per hour, and consequently, per minutes.
This launch follows a warning strike action carried out by Bolt and Uber riders under the Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association (PEDPA) in April and a 13% increase in fares in Lagos in May.
Before now, UberX Hourly was only available in Africa in Tanzania’s largest city, Dar Es Salaam. According to Uber’s Country Manager for Nigeria, Tope Akinwumi, the warm reception of the product by both riders and users in that city reflects its viability and scalability in Nigeria.
Even if there is some excitement about the feature in the country, the drivers’ concerns haven’t been addressed. Time will tell how affordable UberX Hourly will be.