Global ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc on Friday set in motion a pilot trial of a boat service in Nigeria’s business capital Lagos to draw in passenger looking to keep away from the megacity’s famously congested roads.
The United Nations predicts that Nigeria’s populace will dramatically increase to 400 million by 2050, which would make it the third most crowded nation on the planet after China and India.
The blend of population growth and blockage has made Nigeria, and all the more extensively West Africa, appealing to remote vehicle organizations.
Uber’s chief business officer told Reuters in June the company planned to launch the service to carry travellers in the Lagos megacity of around 20 million people that is built on a lagoon.
The waterway service, UberBOAT, is operated in partnership with local boat operator Texas Connection Ferries and the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), said the ride-hailing firm.
“This initiative is aimed at providing commuters with an easy and affordable way to get in and out of the city’s business districts,” Uber said in a statement.
The pilot phase will operate on weekdays from 0700 GMT to 1600 GMT on a fixed route between two locations in the city.
Passengers 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.
At a press conference on Friday, Uber officials said there would be four trips a day, carrying up to 35 people on a boat, during the two-week pilot.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos state, said the Uber boat service, and the use of waterways in general, were part of a raft of initiatives aimed at easing congestion that include a programme of road repairs.