Commuting in Nairobi, at least for me and most of the people I talk to, is a hassle. Dealing with traffic and weather can turn a good day into a grim week. Thankfully, to curb that depression, SafeBoda came to the rescue. With increased traffic and congestion in the cities, people are opting to use bodabodas to commute from one place to another due to their convenience.
They started their 60bob campaign and life couldn’t get better. Low prices and good services. Check and Check. So it definitely came as a surprise when I tried to call a SafeBoda this morning and couldn’t get one.
SafeBoda Riders Strike
If nightmares came true this would be one of them. The one reason I use SafeBoda is because of their low prices. I mean it’s both convenient, fast and you rarely have to worry about getting late. Unfortunately, this is the same reason why they are on strike. The riders have been cancelling requests in the past two months to protest the low pricing of the rides which they feel is eating into most of their profits.
I took to the app, as usual, to try and hail a quick ride but every time I searched, it would say that there are no SafeBodas around. When I finally got a ride, the rider immediately cancelled. Having no other option, I tried once again and got one. When he came, he told me that the SafeBoda’s were on strike and we should be careful not to get caught.
Heading to GPO he told me that he couldn’t get to the stage because the other Bodaboda riders would attack him. On questioning why he told me that the prices had become too low. The strike is meant to force the company to return the original price.
The Bike Hailing Market and What’s Next
Hailing Boda’s was done on a one to one person. You’d have to go and ask for the price or have a close nduthi friend. The prices were fairly high. For example, it’s about 300 from nextgen to GPO but with SafeBoda it’s about 150. That’s half the price. Having credits(money in your virtual wallet on the app) would get you up to 10% off of that diminished price.
It’s a risky situation, I’ll tell you that. Bolt and Uber Bodas are still active and that could really take a toll on SafeBoda. There’s no word from SafeBoda about what will happen next but they have to decide on the next step. They have to talk to the riders and come to a conclusion to satisfy both the riders and the customers.