Uber launches boat service called UberBOAT in Lagos

Global ride-hailing giant,  Uber Technologies Inc., has now launched a pilot phase of its boat-hailing service in Lagos called UberBOAT.

The service is a joint-venture between Uberboat and Texas Connection Ferries, a Lagos-based ferry transportation service and the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA).

According to a report by Reuters, passengers of UberBOAT will be charged a flat fare of 500 naira ($1.39) per trip, compared with about 300 naira by minibus for a similar journey in the commercial hub of the West African country where most people live on less than $2 a day.

The announcement is coming about five months after bike-hailing startup, Gokada announced it plans to launch its own boat service called GBoats in 2020.

It is not clear if Gokada will be launching its boat service as planned.

However, Opera Limited’s OPay, the owner of ORide, bike-hailing service has not announced its plans to delve into offering boat services in Lagos. In the last three months, OPay has expanded its ORide and OTrike (its trycyle services) to several cities across the South East, South West and Northern parts of Nigeria.

Lagos, the country’s financial, business and entertainment hub, has been a victim of its own success with crippling infrastructure and hellish traffic gridlock.

Currently, private boat companies dominate the market with less than 1,000 active boats across the city. The entrance of major technology-driven transport companies could bring more investments and interests from passengers.