Navigating New Horizons: SafeBoda’s Journey in Car-Hailing

SafeBoda
4 min readOct 11, 2023

By Frida Mwaura, Chief Operations Officer — SafeBoda

It was just a year ago that we embarked on an exciting journey to expand our horizons into the world of car-hailing services. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you the remarkable progress we’ve made in this space. SafeBoda, a name synonymous with safe and reliable transportation, has seamlessly onboarded over 4,000 drivers to provide hassle-free car-hailing services in Uganda.

In September 2022, we took a bold step forward by introducing car-hailing services which we named SafeCar alongside our iconic Boda Boda service. This expansion was driven by our commitment to provide comprehensive transportation solutions to our loyal customers, acknowledging that not all journeys are best served on two wheels.

Embracing Competition with Tenacity

The ride-hailing landscape in Uganda has become more aggressive than ever before, with several competitors vying for the same slice of the pie. In this challenging environment, we, at SafeBoda, remained steadfast in our mission. We did not lose sight of our roots; instead, we chose to front-line our initial service — the iconic Boda Boda that is SAFER.

While the market evolves, we recognize that our Boda Boda service remains unparalleled in convenience, reliability, and affordability. To ensure we maintain our edge, the Operations team led by Moses (the one and only “Namba Emu”) tirelessly streamlines the quality and performance of our Boda riders, making them the face of professionalism in an industry often marred by negative stereotypes.

When our customers requested us to get into the Car-hailing space, we had to learn about the challenges they were facing. This resulted in the introduction of the no-negotiation policy on Cars. With this unique value proposition, we are offering our customers a wonderful experience; at the same time, our lower-than-market commission ensures that drivers earn more with us as they transform their livelihoods.

Advocating for Driver Satisfaction

Our commitment to excellence extends beyond our customers to our invaluable drivers. We understand that they are the backbone of our service, and their satisfaction directly translates into a superior experience for our users. Hence, we’ve made it our mission to advocate for driver satisfaction relentlessly.

One of our key initiatives was to empower some of the drivers with essential skills. Through dedicated training programs, we equip them with the technological know-how, workforce management skills, office positions and effective communication techniques they need to excel in this industry. Each week we spend time with our drivers in focus groups and Social Hours so that we can continually listen to them and ensure they feel at home in SafeBoda. By investing in our drivers, we’ve fostered a culture of professionalism and dedication that sets us apart.

Valuing Drivers: Our Cornerstone

At SafeBoda, we’ve always cherished the symbiotic relationship we share with our drivers. They are not just partners, but integral members of our extended family. This is why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to establish driver-centric support systems, where drivers can voice their concerns and receive prompt assistance.

By giving our drivers a voice, we’ve made substantial strides in addressing their needs, ensuring their well-being, and amplifying their sense of belonging within the SafeBoda family. As a response to our driver requests, we have increased our contact/support center hours to 24/7 support even on our social media platforms, provided tiered offerings to suit different customer preferences, and introduced in-app chat to make communication between the driver and passenger easier. This, in turn, translates into better service and happier riders.

Professionalism Beyond Stereotype

As we ventured into car-hailing, we realized that the Boda Boda sector too can be more professional, transcending stereotypes. We’ve empowered our Boda riders with the tools to navigate their professional journey effectively, earning respect and trust along the way.

Through continuous training, mentorship, and recognition programs, we’ve cultivated a community of riders who exemplify professionalism, safety, and reliability. Their commitment to these principles is what sets SafeBoda apart from the rest. Such engagements have prompted SafeBoda to open up a driving school that will now certify drivers “SafeBoda Academy Driving School in Kyebando”.

In Conclusion, SafeBoda’s foray into car-hailing has been nothing short of remarkable. In just a year, we’ve achieved remarkable milestones and have onboarded over 4,000 drivers to serve our customers better. We’ve remained competitive without losing sight of our Boda Boda service, championing quality, professionalism, and rider satisfaction.

Our journey is a testament to our commitment to excellence, our unwavering belief in the potential of our drivers, and our unrelenting passion for providing safe and reliable transportation services. As we move forward, we are excited to continue shaping the future of ride-hailing in Uganda, always with our riders and drivers at the heart of our mission.

Stay safe, ride with confidence, and thank you for choosing SafeBoda.

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SafeBoda

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