When you don’t own a car, getting around Kampala means you are either in a taxi or bodaboda. Lately, I find myself using more bodaboda because of the convenience and how quickly you get to your destination.
I got an accident last week riding on one. Sprained my left arm but never vowed to not take them again. The same evening, I was on another one heading home after work.
Taxi hailing services have been on the increase in the Ugandan market. First it was Uber, which came and became a life saver. Then other service providers replicated their business plan and developed their own Apps to compete in that space.
We have Taxify now. “The Uber killer,” they have called it. Is that so?
My Taxify Experience
I am a regular Uber user and a part from a few arrogant drivers, my overall experience has been great. I love the convenience, I love how clean the cars are, and most times, the drivers are listening to Sanyu FM – my favourite radio station.
Last weekend, I used taxify for the first time. And my general experience was a little bit underwhelming after the people i was with talked me into it. They assured me that it was worth it and it was cheaper than Uber. Since we had many stop-overs to make, i thought the “cheaper than Uber” factor would be logical enough.
First of all, the car wasn’t as appealing as the one’s Uber registers. It had a recent number plate (UAY), but it was a 1993 Toyota Corona (Kibbina).
The driver had an attitude, which is alright. I have faced this with some Uber drivers too, this will be a human flaw, not the company.
Also Read: REVIEWS BY IAN PAUL: 2007 Toyota Mark X
I liked that he asked me what route to use (Which you don’t get so often). I was going to Ntinda with two friends. We went through Nakawa and the ride in general was smooth. He had no AC though.
The windows were rolled down. We were soaked in exhaust fumes from other cars, the heat was uncomfortable and I couldn’t use my phone for fear of having it snatched.
All of the Uber rides I’ve taken have working AC. The windows are rolled up and you don’t have to deal with the noise from other road users. The comfort that comes with that, had my experience with Taxify a little below expected standards.
Even before the ride experience, the Uber App isn’t exactly accurate with the time estimations, but Taxify is a lot worse. When our driver arrived the App was telling us he was 8 minutes way.
Finding him wasn’t a hustle, the 1993 Toyota Corona stood out.
At the end of my trip, i paid the driver and tipped him handsomely. About an hour later we realized one of the people i was with had forgotten her phone in the car.
We called the driver back and he demanded for money if he was to return it. We agreed to pay him and he returned the phone, charging us more than half of what we had paid for the earlier trip.
It was after this that i realized that Taxify isn’t worth my money and time. They are simply doing business and not giving their riders an experience.
Uber drivers are trained to behave better. Customer experience is above all else. I have forgotten my house keys in an Uber before, and the driver who had dropped me in Kireka, came back all the way from Munyoyo to return them at no cost.
With the above scenarios, in comparison, Uber remains the best way to get around. Taxify is good too. But not if you value honesty, value for your money, comfort and customer experience.
Author: Ian Paul Byamugisha
Ian Paul Byamugisha is a writer/author/novelist and car journalist. As a writer for Newslibre, he writes car reviews, cars news, tech news and anything that one might find interesting to read. Currently working on a spy novel collection titled “Arthur Vintage.”