[blockquote right=”pull-right”] [/blockquote] Kampala a city packed with oodles of boda-bodas (motorcycle taxi). It would seem like the rate at which they keep mushrooming in the city is propositional to the population in the city. Getting a boda-boda to take you from point A to B is not a hard task, in fact it’s the most easy thing out there. But what if it’s made even easier? Now, that’s where the guys at Cipher256 come in; using your Android or Windows Phone and an app called EasyBoda that your next boda-boda ride around Kampala will be an easy ride. (I know, too many puns) Transport apps are not new in Uganda, in fact not long ago we saw Safe Boda another boda boda transportation service launching business in Kampala.
So what distinguishes the two services apart from the fact that both want to connect the riders and the passengers. Well, EasyBoda connects you to professional, safe and reliable boda-boda riders. The app also includes pricing suggestion to ensure that neither passenger nor rider overpays/is underpaid. Unlike safeboda, easyboda allows you to send your requests for a boda to all our riders within a 1 mile radius from where you are, plus these riders don’t need to have smartphones to get your location information. The magic just happens! They have basically figured out a way to route SMS from web to SMS and then from SMS to web without having to go through expensive telcos e.g through their USSD shortcodes. Using the app, you can see the rider’s progress as they come to pick you up. This means that each boda-boda is equipped with a GPS for easy tracking and ensures safety of the customers. With the EasyBoda service, you will not need to call the rider, the app handles all the processes in between. Just make your request on the app, the rider will know where you are and they will come pick you up. The guys at cipher256 feel that they have brought boda-boda hailing, booking and usage into the 21st century while preserving the boda-boda the experience.
Metro style card for boda-boda rides to use any time of the day
At least that’s the promise for now, we shall be testing this whole experience in the coming days to make sure it lives up to its expectations. The service is technologically ready, but now in beta mode (undertest) and will soon rollout with more riders being registered on to the service. Joshua Okello Co-Founder & Business Development Lead at Cipher256, said that [signoff predefined=”Custom Signoff Box” icon=”quote-circled”]The service will also come with cash payments and a card you can use any time of the day like a metro card, but for boda rides. Currently, we are giving out free ride cards, and with it you just hail the rider or stop an EasyBoda rider and you give them the card as payment. The card comes in handy if you’ve kids or another party you want to use your card. Or if you left your phone behind. Yes, we’re only in Kampala right now; Ntinda, Kyambogo, Makerere, Kamwokya, Bukoto and we shall expand to more places soon. [/signoff]
How they get the riders
Apart from having a valid permit, three other riders must vouch for you at your current stage, and also the stage chairman and LC1 chairman of your area should do the same. All this is in written. They will immediately do a quick ping with Police make sure the new potential riders have no criminals records, when all that is clear, you get on board as an easyboda rider.
Talking about safety for the riders Joshua said that they also provide security for them. This way, in case of a robbery or any calamity, they will always commit to follow up. All this information is collected anonymously or from sources like socialmedia (which is info people willingly give out). He further says that, we believe SAFETY is not just about not dying in an accident because you have a helmet, but it’s more than that. We try to help mitigate or help solve issues with crime like theft. So that even at 3 am in the night, you can travel safe, he added.