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Uber launches its boat service, uberBOAT, in Nigeria

uberboat service

As Uber strives to continues its expansion across Africa, the company has launched its uberBOAT service in Lagos, Nigeria. The boat service, likely to undergo a two-week pilot phase, is going to be operated in conjunction with the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA).

The boat service is going to be only available on weekdays, with a frequency of four times during the day from the Ikorodu Ferry Terminal on the mainland and Five Cowries Terminal on the island. For the pilot phase, so far two boats are involved.

uberBOAT charges in Lagos

Whoever wishes to use the uberBOAT service will be charged a flat fee of N500 ($1.39) for all boat trips with the company also offering 50% discounts on car rides to either jetty. Apparently, passengers will be able to book rides in advance of their trips using the boat interface that will be available on the Uber app; with each boat carrying up to 35 passengers.

The introduction of the boat service in Nigeria is an addition to the already existing car-hailing and motorcycle taxi hailing business which have registered tremendous success in most markets that Uber operates in on the continent. The uberBOAT service is likely to create another opportunity for the company to tap on the raw market that uses water transport to and from work and leisure, something that the competition had not tried yet.

The launch is also Uber’s first try in the boat transport industry in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, the company launched its boat offering in Cairo, Egypt in partnership with Nile Taxi.

For the Nigerian market, Uber is closely competing with Estonia-owned Bolt (formerly Taxify) as well as a number of bike-hailing apps.

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