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OBus – Bus Hailing Service

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OBus - Bus Hailing Service from OPay
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OBus is an online bus hailing service launched by the Opay company to make transportation easier for Nigerians. OBus (a.k.a. Opera Bus or OPay Bus) is one of the latest services launched by OPay. OPay (Opera-pay) is a multi-service commercial online platform that offers interesting services. In this expository article, we will be looking at OBus in detail.

OBus operates like other OPay online ride hailing services like ORide and OTrike. It is a commercial transit service that can be accessed from the OPay app. OBus functions more like the conventional bus, but will be a more comfortable transit service.

The OBus service operates with company branded hummer buses and is only available for intra-state transport within Lagos state.
Users can only order buses with the OPay app and will be able to make payments with their OPay wallet balance or a an “OBus card” which can be purchased offline from Opay agents at designated bus stations.

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The OBus card comes in different denominations and the lowest available amount is N200. A sensor reader will be used to scan the barcode of the OBus card to make payment and the fare will be deducted from the card. The card can be used for multiple times until the credit is exhausted.

There are some other online transit hailing services offered by OPay before the launch of OBus which are the ORide and OTrike.
ORide is a bike ride-hailing service. The OPay app has an ORide icon where you can explore the services offered by ORide.

ORide allows hail a bike and is available in some parts of Lagos state, Ibadan, Ilorin, Port Harcourt and some other cities but not across the country. You will not see the ORide icon on your OPay dashboard if the service is not available in your location.

OTrike on the other hand is a three-wheeled ride-hailing service launched by OPay few months after ORide was successfully launched. It operates in a way similar to ORide. It was launched in Aba and Kano but has extended to many other cities like Enugu. You will see the OTrike icon if it is available in your location.

OBus was launched after ORide and OTrike and it brought about some changes in the mode of operation when compared to the transit hailing services earlier launched by OPay. The OBus is also experiencing some challenges which led to an alleged suspension of the service.

Although the suspension was later disclaimed by OPay who stated that they didn’t suspend OBus, but rather changing the business model. It was reported that officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Lagos chapter and area boys made operations difficult for the drivers even with security personnel on board.

There were also cases of touts preventing OBuses from making stops for pickups at some bus terminals along their routes. OBus after being launched began operation and already became popular on about four routes in Lagos, but it wasn’t clear if the service was still app-based, which was the intended operation model.

At a particular time, the OBus option on Opay app became inactive and no longer displayed active routes, OR-code, or OBus wallet balance. After OPay disclaimed the suspension of OBus they stated that they were strategizing to double down on the third party business model, which enables bus owners and vendors to lease their buses to OBus.

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The functionality was later restored and OBus continued functioning, and the OBus feature on OPay app now works and displays active routes.

In November 2019, few months after OBus was launched, Opera-Pay again launched another transit hailing service called OCar. A car ride-hailing service similar to Uber.

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OCar is also accessible via the OPay app and was launched to begin operation in eight Major Nigerian cities which are Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcout, Ibadan, Benin, Abeokuta, Owerri and Kaduna. To use OCar you need an OPay mobile app where you will see the OCar feature and be able to explore it.

To make the process easy, it is better to either have your location turned on or allow access to your location if a pop up prompts for that. There is also an option for you to select your location and after that you proceed to select your destination after which your fare will appear.

If you accept the offer a driver close to your pickup location will pick your order and call you to confirm the order, after which the minutes for him to arrive will be displayed. The minutes displayed will countdown until he arrives which is usually almost accurate.

Once he arrives he’ll pick you up and take you to your selected destination after which you will make payment from your OPay account using the OPay app.

That is the evolution of Opay transit hailing services. And all of these are active in different areas. You just have to confirm the ones available in your area and make a choice.

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Paschal Okafor is NaijaTechGuide Team Lead. The article OBus – Bus Hailing Service was written by Paschal Okafor. The article was last modified: February 7th, 2020

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