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Nigerian Bus-hailing Platform, Hubryde Offers Premium Mass Commuting Services To Lagos Residents

Nigerian bus-hailing startup, Hubryde is helping bus owners optimize their assets while offering commuters premium mass transit experience, in which corporate workers can plan their monthly commute budget on the platform.

Hubryde was launched in January 2020 by three entrepreneurs. With industry experience in transport and logistics, travel and leisure, and finance; Charles Mathews (COO), Adekunle Jaiyesimi (CEO), Oluwatoyin Adeniran (Vice president, People and Admin) all co-founded the startup with the aim to address commuting challenges in Lagos.

“We have created a platform that helps people to move comfortably and safely within Lagos in a manner that suits their status,” Charles Mathews, Hubryde Chief Operating Officer (COO).

According to Mathew, the team created a mobile platform that enables asset owners to onboard their assets to process trips and also enables commuters to request trips on demand. It aggregates travel demand of people in the same location moving towards the same direction.

Drivers and passengers operate using different mobile apps. For drivers, it is called the Hubryde Manager app. With the app, drivers accept rides, communicate pickup details, confirm rides after pickup, and end the trip at customer drop-off points.

Mathews confirms that Hubryde has added at least 20 buses operating on the platform in its one year of operations.

Starting lean, the startup went with the sharing-economy model. This means it doesn’t own a fleet of branded buses. Instead, verified coaster buses that accommodate up to 28 passengers per trip are on-boarded after owners or leasing companies register on the platform.

“We have strategic pick-up locations communicated to commuters. They know the pickup time and the pickup location. So, they are positioned at the pick-up location where they join the bus,” Matthew explains.

Meanwhile, users can also track the bus location via the Hubryde app. Asides from this, each Hubryde bus has an assigned staff – called Front-Line Ambassador (FLA) – aboard that renders on-the-go customer service to commuters.

According to Mathews, there’s an indication that involving FLAs has greatly helped with adoption.

For passengers’ safety, each bus has an access code that helps the passenger get accepted onboard seamlessly; with it, drivers can also confirm if they have the right passenger.

At the end of each ride, a fare is deducted from the user’s wallet since cash payment is discouraged.

“The least fare on our platform now is ₦200 if you’re covering 15 km. Pricing is a function of consumer surplus, urban settlement, and travel distance,” avers Mathews.

However, the fares are not affected by peak periods. Mathews explains this decision helps customers stick to their usual travel budget while using the platform – a situation you cannot guarantee while using traditional commercial transport services.

Consequently, Hubryde is looking to support up-front payment where customers can fund their wallet ahead to cater for their movement with Hubryde on a weekly or monthly basis.

“We have a new feature that is coming in March. You will be able to buy a trip plan. It allows you to subscribe to different transport plans.”

Mathews explains how some customers who already trust the brand for reliable and flexible service fund their wallet with funds large enough to cater to the whole month.

In light of this, Hubryde also offers companies a platform to fund employee wallets to cater for their monthly home-office commute. Similar to this, the startup also provides a dedicated service where the company can request buses with a specific carrying capacity for short or long-term purposes.

Mathew believes Hubryde is solving a challenge that no single entity can solve alone. He adds that being committed to playing its part during this period will significantly help the startup impact its target market.

“The problem we are solving here is three-pronged – the problems that commuters encounter, the problem that vehicle owners encounter in optimising their assets, and the growing vehicle population on Lagos roads.”

Ultimately, he adds, surviving the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as a few-months-old startup is a good sign that it will remain for a long time.

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