OBus: Nigerian Startup OPay Launches Bus Service
Nigerian startup Opay is taking the transportation business by storm. Taking over the bike-hailing service is not enough as the company is venturing into bus services too. Looking to compete with the popular Lagos Danfo buses, Opay has now launched a new mass transit bus-hailing service called OBus. This will be the first-ever private bus-hailing service in Lagos.
Opay, which means Opera-Pay, is backed by the Norwegian company, Opera. The company, which started as a payment platform, has gradually spread its tentacles. In fact, they now run other business like food and grocery delivery, a bike hailing service and, most recently, the bus service.
Speaking on the OBus service, Opay says it is not like normal buses. They say it is will be more comfortable and will support cashless payments. The buses are currently going through beta tests as they ply routes along CMS-Ikeja. Opay explained that a Quick Response (QR) card will be used in making payments on the buses.
However, commuters who wish to use the service will have to update the OPay app on their phones. They will also need to purchase QR Cards from OPay agents at designated bus stops. The cards will be placed on a sensor reader inside the bus that will read the barcode on the ticket. This would be the barcode that had been generated through the mobile app before the trip.
Say Goodbye to ‘O-wa-o’, Say Hello to OBus
The OBus cards will be sold for as low as ₦200. The user will also have the opportunity to use it for as many trips as they want until the credit is exhausted. Also, commuters are able to pay for the OBus cards through their OPay wallet.
Meanwhile, it seems as though the company is looking to promote its not so popular payment service with this venture. The ORide service entered the market with a storm. They were able to quickly sweep their major competitor, Gokada, off the market. The first most popular bike-hailing company in Lagos, Gokada recently suspended its operations temporarily.
OPay is quite ambitious with the ORide service as they have recently expanded to Ibadan. They introduced a tricycle hailing service called OTrike which is now operating in Aba and Kano. However, when OPay was asked about their growth they said they were still learning.
It looks like Lagosians will be spared from the scourge of Danfo bus drivers and conductors. Especially as ORide promises to a saner and more convenient mode of public transportation.