Rida cabs debut in Abuja, offers cheaper prices to commuters
Commuters in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) can now heave a sigh of relief following the launch of Rida, new ride-hailing services with cheaper and efficient services.
Unlike ride-hailing apps like Uber or Bolt, the Rida app helps passengers and drivers negotiate a mutually acceptable ride price in advance.
An official of the outfit, Rachel Breia, explained that Rida is an unconventional app connecting passengers with drivers at a price point they both agree on in a matter of seconds.
She noted: “For passengers, this generally means lower prices as drivers pay zero commission and hence willing to negotiate for lower prices. For drivers, this means freedom to set their price and see all nearby orders and to take any preferred order. There are no penalties for not taking orders and no fees and commissions during the launch period.
“The ride ordering process is simple and intuitive: after a one-time registration (via Facebook or SMS) and setting the pickup and destination points, a passenger suggests the amount they are willing to pay and waits for drivers to respond by either confirming the ride or offering a different price. In the latter case, the passenger has the freedom to choose the most acceptable offer or reject all offers altogether.
“Rida also helps passengers set realistic prices by suggesting an estimate calculated on the basis of statistics, time of the day, day of the week, traffic conditions, and official prices of conventional ride-hailing services. On average, the price paid by passengers in identical conditions is 10 to 30 per cent lower than with conventional ride-hailing apps.
“After the ride is complete, passengers pay the driver directly in cash or via bank transfer. Everything else is similar to conventional ride-hailing apps: the passenger sees the driver’s route and current position on the map and receives a notification when the driver arrives. Passengers can rate their drivers after the ride and reach the 24/7 support for any inquiries.”
According to Vanic Isibor Minas, a Nigerian and one of Rida’s founders, “Our mission is to democratize the ride-hailing industry in Abuja. We want to give passengers and drivers an alternative that aligns well with the culture of negotiations and fair price.
“The actual stakeholders on any ride-hailing market are the drivers and the passengers. Our goal is to give them a tool to negotiate seamlessly and move around the city faster at more affordable prices.”
Drivers complete a chat-based registration which requires submission of personal details (may be automatically transferred from Facebook), vehicle details (type, model, colour, and licence plate), a copy of driver licence and insurance certificate. Verified drivers are given access to the full list of orders currently available in the city (updated in real-time). The driver selects any suitable order and either accept the order price or offers a new price. If the new price is confirmed by the passenger, the driver goes to pick up the passenger.
During the beta period, the use of the Rida service is completely free for drivers. Since the ride is paid by the passenger directly to the driver (in cash or by bank transfer), the driver receives his/her money “here and now”.
The Rida app was developed by former employees of Uber from Russia and Armenia after spending several successful years in the conventional ride-hailing business. “We saw a niche for a third force in ride-hailing. One that is not built on price wars but rather fair and sustainable pricing based on actual perceptions of the market from passengers and drivers. We do not dictate the price, the market does, as it should,” said Vanic Minas.
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