Tech Review: Technology Aided Taxi Rides in Lagos by @jesseoguns

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Taxi rides in Lagos just got more interesting, but at a premium. The creators of Taxi park has re-launched the service and now call it Tranzit. Tranzit is in beta phase and it is very functional. I have used the service a number of times and in my opinion, this is a good beta phase —and I’m sure they can always improve on it.

I have used every means of transportation available in Lagos besides air travel. I have travelled by road and by water. When I am on the road within town, I am jumping from one BRT/LAG bus to another, hoping on Danfos, Moluwes or Coaster busses. Recently, I’ve started to use taxis.

I used to think taxis were meant for the rich and mighty alone. Oh boy, I was wrong. Taxis are for convenience and late night movements for me. I don’t have a personal car, so, I now use taxis as the occasion arises.

Whenever I chose to use a taxi, I always want the best deal. So, I haggle to the last Naira. Some have dubbed me Alaroro—Someone who can spend a lot of time haggling in order to get the best deal. What’s bad about that?

I get easily excited when I see technology being used as a tool to solve common problems and make life a lot more fun. It was a raining day and my colleague in the office was feeling ill. We needed to get her a taxi. I remember I had read about EasyTaxi and I had the app on my iPhone. I quickly launched it and called for a ride. The first time I tried it, the app wasn’t ready. I got no offer for a ride then. This time, I got results. I was shown the location, name and picture of the driver, type of car and plate number and how long it was going to take the driver to get to me. Bravo! I said.

easytaxi_app

I was able to call the driver from the app as his phone number was displaying for me to see. He told me he was going to pull over by my location in the exact minutes stated by the app. And ol’boy, he was with me on the said time.

EasyTaxi failed to tell me the cost of the ride, neither was I asked where I was going to. I told the driver when he arrived where we wanted to go and the cost was way beyond what we budgeted for the ride. We later got a yellow taxi, without AC for the ride at N1,500.00. The car that came from EasyTaxi was a posh Toyota Camry 2010 with AC and a neat driver. It appears to be similar to the kind of service Uber would have provided if they were here in Nigeria. He was asking for N5,000 and wound’t allow us to haggle.

By the way, the coverage of EasyTaxi is still very limited. I couldn’t get a ride from Festac using the app. So, I did not bother trying it this morning when the already scheduled cab guy told me he was calling to cancel. He had gone to the airport to pick another customer. I had made a private arrangement with this cab driver a day before. I tweeted that I wanted a recommendation for a reliable cab driver that can pick me up in Festac. That was when someone suggested that I tried Tranzit.

I had tried Tranzit in the past, but I never booked or went as far as examining the service. It wasn’t ready then. This time around, I had faith and googled them using my iPhone while still lying in bed, just after receiving the disappointing news from my scheduled cab guy that he was calling to cancel.

Tranzit Nigeria made my day. The mobile website is simple.

tranzit_taxi

Registering and booking a taxi took less than two minutes. I wasn’t even bothered that they do not have a mobile app. I just wanted a ride. I entered my email address and phone number to register and then my full name. I was sent a validation code [You won’t get this type of validation code if you have ported your phone number. I explained this in a blog post I did recently]. I was taken straight to the page where I was to book my ride. As soon as I chose my current location [Pick me up at] and then destination [Take me to], I hit the FIND TAXI button.

tranzit_taxi2

I was shown a page where my journey in distance was calculated in kilometers and an approximate time for the journey was displayed. The one that blew my mind most—the sign up and booking process all delighted me—was that I was offered three choices to choose from – Executive, Premium or Regular. With executive being the most expensive and regular being the most affordable.

tranzit_taxi3

I chose regular. Next thing I saw, I was qualified for a 50% discount. The ride was calculated to cost me N5,200, but I was requested to pay N2,600. I got this in the next page after I chose Regular.

 tranzit_taxi4

 Tranzit Nigeria then called me to confirm my booking and to assign me a driver. The lady on the phone told me the closest driver to me was at Ikeja but he will start coming to me as soon as I can confirm to her it is fine with me. I told her I’d wait. I got the name of the driver and phone number from her via email immediately she dropped the phone. 2 minutes later, she called to tell me there’s a driver at Mile 2, much closer to me and changed the details of the driver that would pick me up. Bam!

I got the details of the driver coming to me as an email and as a text message. I called the driver and asked him how soon he was going to get to me.

He picked me up from my location and dropped me off at my destination. I paid the N2,600 and I was happy to use the service. My initial arrangement with the cab guy was going to cost me N5,000—a private car hire service. Tranzit Nigeria charged N5,200 regular without discount for the same journey.

I should do a comparative analysis between Tranzit Nigeria and EazyTaxi. That is going to be in a future blog post. As stated by Tranzit Nigeria’s founder, in the grand scheme of things, EazyTaxi and Tranzit Nigeria are going to complement each other in the Nigerian market. Time will reveal how true that is. I really look forward to meeting the guys behind Tranzit Nigeria.

From their website, it is clear that they’re not fully ready yet. They are still in beta. There are a few things they’ll still need to put in place and they go on. There are few questions I have myself about this service. Looking forward to see the next update to this service.

Great job guys, thanks for delighting me with your excellent service. I am looking forward to using you again and being delighted over and over again.

Have you ever used any e-taxi service before? Would you want to try Tranzit Nigeria? Please share with me in the comment box. Feel free to ask me questions about my ride. 🙂

Jesse

Jesse

In pursuit of useless knowledge, spotting patterns & connecting the dots at the intersection. | Gadget Freak

10 comments

  1. I don’t know about Tranzit but I’ve used Easy Taxi a number of times, and what helps is I inform the driver over the phone of my location and how much I’m willing to pay and most times we settle on an affordable price before hand. And it’s true the Easy Taxi app is unbelieveably accurate and efficient, plus it’s super cool that you get to follow your Taxi in real time as it approaches you.

  2. Interesting article.. I tried the Easy Taxi and it was amazing. I thought it was a booking service but the cab was there for me in 10 minutes!

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