Bolt has launched a tricycle (Keke) operation in Enugu, months after it launched its first in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Bolt’s introduction of keke to its operation is part of its expansion strategy to other cities in Nigeria apart from Lagos, Benin and Abuja.
Keke is a popular means of transportation in Enugu, and Bolt, having learned the tricks with its pilot operation in Uyo, walked into the market with cheap ride offers that will endear riders.
Bolt offers a minimum fare of N150 for trips, alongside a launch discount designed to attract riders. The company said riders can use the first rider discount code, BOLTENUGUKEKE (NGN 500 off your first trip) to enjoy as much as 15% discount until a particular time.
The welfare of drivers has always been a bone of contention, especially their earnings, but the ride-hailing company told Tekedia that the drivers have bonus packages designed to increase their earnings.
“Drivers also stand a chance to take advantage of the estimated earnings of N18,000 per week. In addition, a bonus of N1,000 for the first five trips and 15% bonus per trip until a communicated time,” Bolt said.
The ride-hailing ecosystem took a hit following the outbreak of the coronavirus which restricted people’s movement around the world. The ride-hailing companies strategized to survive. Uber, DoorDash and Lyft focused more on food delivery, while in Nigeria; Bolt is using alternate means of transportation – tricycle and ride-fare slash.
The tricycle operation follows the app-based booking model that is functional in car-based rides. However, the keke model will face stiff competition as private keke operators offer cheaper ride rates, though they use the traditional model.
In 2019, the Opera group introduced OTrike, a keke-based ride-hailing transport in Enugu. The introduction of this service came with an enticement of N100 per a trip for two months from its launch, no matter where in the town a rider was going. There were other incentives too, but OTrike didn’t survive the competition and business environment, and consequently shut down in less than a year.
Bolt however, appears prepared to use its existing competitive framework. Moreover the success of Bolt’s Uyo pilot of the keke app-based rides evidenced a strong local market knowledge that will ensure the sustainability of its operation in Enugu. Bolt’s country manager, Femi Akin-Luguda said the company is becoming innovative in solving revenue discrepancies emanating from competition – and now COVID-19 by catering for local demand.
“At Bolt, we will continue to find innovative ways to cater to local demand for popular services,” he said at the launch of tricycle service in Uyo last year. We have already built the biggest ride-sharing platform in Nigeria for cars and the knowledge we have gained in that endeavor gives us a significant advantage in taking on the unique transportation challenges in all the cities where we operate.”