You know that feeling when you’re at the bus-stop waiting for a bus and you suddenly find someone you knew, who was likely going your route.
Or perhaps you wanted to take a taxi to your destination, but wished you could find someone going your way to share the ride with and split the cost of the fare.
A new taxi-sharing service called KabuKabu (pronounced, Kah-boo-kah-boo) has launched to help you share rides and split the fares to and fro work with your colleagues, friends and others.
The service is attempting to solve at least two problems: the usual discomfort that comes with boarding public ‘commercial’ buses and the incurring high costs of riding in private cabs. And it wants to do this is by making your trips to and fro work pleasurable and easy on your pocket.
KabuKabu would use data collected from commuters to matches two or more riders together travelling on the same route and at the same time. So if you live in, say, Surulere and work in Victoria Island, the system would match other riders with similar daily commute plans with you and let you pay up to 70% less than normal cab fares to and fro the office.
If you own a car and don’t fancy the idea of riding to work daily, this service would be a great relief. And if you enjoy driving to work daily and don’t mind riding with other people, or perhaps you want to use your spare seats to make some extra cash, which could help pay for fuel or toll fees, if you live in the Lekki axis, KabuKabu would also hook you up with cool people to ride with.
But despite the convenience and cost, there would perhaps be concerns about safety since there could be situations were you may not know those you’re commuting with on the same ride.
KabuKabu co-founder, Opeyemi Awobotu tells me that although commuters using the service could notify them if there are any issues with co-riders, there are other measures in place to allay some of the safety concerns. He argues that the system would not match two males and a female on a ride unless they are familiar with one another.
Also, since the commuters would have their personal details with the system as well as the cab drivers, there wouldn’t be any need worrying much about safety riding with these people.
While commuters pay for a reduced fare, KabuKabu would have to take a commission fee from each taxi driver’s daily trips in order to make revenues.
With about 50 cabs (mostly Red Cabs) already signed up to the service, according to Awobotu, to take riders to and from work during the morning hours and evening hours, the service is betting that people would buy the idea of car pooling to work on a daily basis.
Even though I don’t make daily commutes to and from work (just about 10 steps from my bedroom to my home office) I’d personally love to use this service with other people who are going to technology-related events.