Uber Technology Inc. launched
a pilot phase of its boat business in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, on
Friday in conjunction with Texas Connection Ferries, a local boat operator, and
the Lagos State Waterways Authority.
Uber’s Chief Business Officer
Brooks Entwistle said in June that the company was in talks with Lagos state
government and regulatory authorities to start UberBoats to ease traffic
congestion in the city.
Nigeria’s commercial capital
has one of the highest car densities in the world, with about 200 cars per
kilometer causing traffic congestion. Its vast and underutilized waterways are
seen as a viable transportation alternative to relieve pressure on the roads.
The boat service, priced at 50
per cent of current fares, is “aimed at providing commuters with an easy and
affordable way to get in and out of the city’s business districts,” the San
Francisco-based firm said in an emailed response to questions. Customers will
also get 50 per cent discount on Uber taxis when used for rides to the boat
UberBoat will only be
operational on weekdays from 8am to 5pm for 500 naira per trip, the
ride-hailing company said.