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Uber vs. Bolt (Formerly Taxify): Which Do You Prefer?

I haven’t owned a car in 12 years.

As you can probably imagine, I use more than my fair share of ride hailing services!

But…I am not complaining. In fact, I am quite grateful.

For most of those 12 years, ride hailing services didn’t exist where I live. And in my corner of the world, the public transportation system is nothing to brag about.

And then, in June 2016, all that changed.

Within 10 days of each other, Uber began operating in both Kampala and Dar es Salaam, the cities where I spend the most time.

The beginning with Uber was rough. I won’t tell you much more about that here. You can read all about it in Uber Uganda & Tanzania: My Experiences in the First 9 Months.

Eventually, though, other than for minor irritations such as East African Uber drivers insisting on calling riders to ask them about their location before picking them up (come on, what’s the app’s map for?!), the teething problems are pretty much done, and Uber operates smoothly wherever it is available in East Africa, namely in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.

But as the saying goes, when it rains it pours.

Only three years since I first learned that Uber was available in East Africa, we now have, for instance, not one but 6(!) ride hailing services operating in Dar es Salaam.

Twende app by Tigo
Twende ride hailing service by Tanzanian telecom company Tigo

Many of these services also operate elsewhere in the region and, furthermore, there’s a slew of others that operate elsewhere in the region and not in Tanzania. I am sure you get the picture.

Still, the two biggest players in most of East Africa’s larger cities are Uber and Bolt (formerly Taxify).

When I originally decided to write this post, my intention was to tell you about a service that I LOVE and use regularly: Bolt’s boda boda (motorcycle taxi) service.

As I began to write this post, though, I realized that, without rhyme or reason, I use both Bolt and Uber regularly, though I use them differently.

I use Bolt’s boda boda and bajaj (auto rickshaw) service and rarely ever their taxi service, and yet I use Uber’s taxi service, never their boda boda service and rarely their bajaj service.

It occurred to me to ask you: of the two ride hailing services, if you use either one, which do you prefer, or use more regularly, and why?

Are you like me that uses both ride hailing services depending on the circumstances of the ride, e.g., destination, time, or mode of transportation? Or rather, are you strictly faithful to one?

If you live in a city that perhaps doesn’t have Uber or Bolt, has only one of these, or has other ride hailing services available, tell me which ride hailing services you use regularly and why.

For instance, when I am in Kigali, Rwanda, I am all about SafeMotos (which I hear recently rebranded as CanGo, by the way).

A CanGo Driver helps a passenger put her helmet on
A CanGo driver helps a passenger put on her helmet

Yes, today let’s talk about ride hailing apps!

Leave me a comment below. As always, I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

Until the next time,

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Photo Credits: ikalkulator.pl, tigo, CanGo

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