The New New TiketMobile and my experience


#1

On my last Abuja trip I was sitting in the plane and had no one to pick me up at the airport, I remembered TiketMobile had relaunched and also reading that it was like 3k to town, I was elated and quickly opened my browser to make a booking. While my internet was dulling I immediately thought, ok a phone number would be so much easier at this point.

Luckily it opened and I signed up easily and booked for an airport pickup. I was worried I may not hear back from them in time as I hoped they would just send me the driver’s number. They called in like 2 mins to verify the booking and the driver called me in another minute trying to verify when we would take off. I was able to sneak a quick SMS off to him when we hit the runway and he arrived the airport when my flight arrived as well, save for the vehicle traffic at the airport, the experience was smooth.

On an earlier trip to Abuja i tried using EasyTaxi, even though the flight was delayed for hours and I installed both the iPhone and Windows Phone EasyTaxi apps, I was unable to book for a taxi to do an airport pickup (this is likely because the app uses ur current location, so in Lagos i cannot book an Abuja taxi). I was however able to use EasyTaxi in Abuja, much to the amazement of my cousins, that it actually worked in Nigeria. I did use EasyTaxi back to the airport on this trip. I can’t remember if I had to haggle on the price with the driver, but having a fixed price with TiketMobile is definitely reassuring.

My return journey with TiketMobile wasn’t as smooth though, even though I am partly to blame. Wasn’t sure where in town i would be, so I could not order a pickup, eventually did so about 1.5 hrs to the flight time. Unfortunately, they did not send me the drivers number until much later after we had a difficult time linking up. The taxi driver was very polite and did his best to make the airport in less than 30 mins, but I did miss that flight though, had to get on another one.

All in all, it was a fairly good experience, my only issue was that they did not send the driver’s numbers in time, electing to have the driver call me first instead. While this is ok, it may be more urgent for me than the driver, so I would be more inclined to call them. I suspect the second driver did not want to make the call, maybe credit? Also a phone number or even SMS booking would not be a bad idea, web is kool but at urgent times that phone number is essential.

I only hope TiketMobile expands to lagos for airport pickups and dropoffs soon, with fixed low prices :smiley:


#2

What is the actual backstory behind this New tiketmobile. I suspect Cele sold the tech to some Abuja company that does this service and they are using the tech developed at Tiketmobile to make it happen. But what is the real backstory? Can some anonymously let us know?


#3

Interesting.

I’ll probably get lynched for this, but of all the e-hailing services in Nigeria, the only real technology company/platform is Uber. When you get into an Uber, Travis doesn’t know. Uber customer care doesn’t know. The whole thing is routed from requester to server to driver without human intervention.

Not so with the rest. The rest are just taxi-booking companies that use the web/apps for distribution, much in the same way as you would use a billboard to draw attention to your services. When you look under the hood, their processes are actually pretty manual. Taxipixi and Easy Taxi have technology after a fashion, but you get the feeling that it’s not quite there yet. But then, Uber is a >$40 billion unicorn, so…


#4

Then again, there is a reason why Uber is pretty much flailing in Nigeria but that’s another discussion. I think the app has to culturally adapt. Till then I use Uber to source drivers with nice cars so I can call them without touching the app.


#5

Flailing? How? Practically rode around in them the whole of today. Can’t release too many spoilers before I finish writing my feature on it, but one key thing to watch is the ETAs. When Uber first came to Lagos, it used to be like 40 minutes, depending on where you are. Mainland got less love than the Island. Now ETAs on the mainland are around 10 mins on average, while Island ETAs are around 5. That means more drivers. More cars. That doesn’t look like flailing.


#6

could also be less people using the service… :smile:


#7

quite possibly :slight_smile:


#8

Thanks @Ajibz for using the service, I’m glad you enjoyed it too. Thanks also for this post :smile:

Haha @greatabena. Nah, we haven’t sold the tech, but there’s a deep integration with an Abuja cab start-up that really wanted to use the tech, so they handle ops and we still have the tech. It’s a long term partnership too, so this service isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

But then, cab hailing is just one possible use-case of the system we built, so we’re taking advantage of the opportunity to grow both ours & their business. Instead of it just lying at a server somewhere doing nothing. While at it, we’re trying to explore possibilities of integration with similar services. Generally, we’re looking out for places where people would want to control and/or monitor access. We’ve got a ready API for back-access (which is actually our preferred option). With some basic modifications and you’d have a dashboard for yourself.

So that’s the backstory. The same guys who started it still owns & build for it, and are still enthusiastic about it.

About the human element, @lordbanks, read about Uber’s new “keke” operations in India, and you’d see that they can’t grow in this kind of market without integrating that human element. The glass ceiling of the limited number of people who trust technology well enough without getting antsy, would prevent their growth.

This is actually based on experiences with customer interaction.

But then, Uber get money, so them fit do lau-lau spending and just start campaigns to try build the market quicker than normal.


#9

Good for you.


#10

True. Nigerian cab drivers are hardly the ones that use smartphones.


#11

I’m not sure why people keep saying this. I used Tranzit a lot before they because TaxiPixi and every driver(except one) had an Android phone. Plus they weren’t old taxi driver types. They were young people in their 20s - 40s


#12

young 40s? But i get your point, even EasyTaxi drivers all have android phones with the apps as well. I have helped a few random taxi guys fix their android phones after a child changed some settings so @stigwue I am not sure that statement is entirely true, although surely a minority.

I still wonder why and how we skipped calling cabs via phones and went straight to apps.


#13

again understanding that “Nigerian market” is so different what works abroad might not work here take telCos for example you don’t buy recharge cards except prepaid phones. Jovago still does manual operations from payments to notifying hotel managers so if tiketmobile is doing that it’s probably what customers are asking for because we have so much trust issues in this country like adding stew to jollof rice. Until we take care of that trust issues and customers know that we got their back and depending the kind of business you are running you might need a manual touch to service a larger market.


#14

lol Flailing…