No doubt that the taxi-hailing apps are a much-needed technology for the modern time-strapped commuters. However, as with any technology, there is always some downtimes that could prove highly inconveniencing if not preempted and mitigation mechanisms put in place.
In Nigeria, like most parts of Africa, and to some extent the rest of the world, internet downtime is a too frequent occurrence. Sometimes it might not be a problem with the internet service providers; it could be the user has maxed out their mobile data plan and is out of internet Wi-Fi range. In such scenarios, the much-hailed taxi-hailing apps are quite useless.
Tule Taxi, a taxi hailing app, seem to understand this problem and have provided commuters in Lagos, Nigeria an SMS fail-safe. In the event a commuter has no internet connection, they can revert to the good old SMS to call a taxi.
Tule Taxi, based in Texas, USA, is setting up shop in Lagos and is claiming to take a different approach from other competing taxi hailing apps. Tule Taxi claims to offer customer-centric services, where commuters get the traditional online taxi-hailing services first, and a fail-safe SMS-based option for booking their ride.
The service allows users to schedule a trip within an hour, and this works to their advantage by eliminating waiting times. The company’s COO Tonye Briggs said:
“Tule philosophy is built on picking our Customers at the right time, taking them to the right place for the right price. We strive to provide fair pricing for riders, transparent policies for drivers, and awesome customer support for both riders and drivers. We are always looking for creative was to make our customers happy!”
The company also has a customer loyalty program dubbed Tule Miles, where commuters are rewarded points as per the kilometers traveled and can redeem them for free rides or discounted fair for partners.
Tule is currently running a promotion in Lagos, whereby anyone who installs the app before May 1st stands a chance to win a prize. The Tule Taxi app is available for both Android and iOS.