Disruptive technology is alive and well in Nigeria with transport a key area of focus. We have have previously reported how the taxi industry in Lagos has been revolutionised with services including Tranzit, Easytaxi and most recently Uber. Now the sharing economy has hit Lagos with carpooling.
On any given day moving around Lagos, can be frustrating, from traffic to unreliable commercial transport. With recent fuel issues, navigating the city was difficult for many but two new start-ups are hoping to change the way people commute in Lagos and the rest of Africa.
The first is Jekalo, an online platform where you can share a ride with someone going along the same route as you. Whether you are a ride owner or a passenger, “Jekalo is a convenient and affordable way to get home”, users can earn rewards by offering rides and for the days they do not want to drive, users can always join someone else’s ride.
Also recently lauched is GoMyWay a ride-sharing marketplace connecting passengers with ride owners going along the same route and have empty seats to spare. GoMyWay is funded by Angel investors Sim Shagaya (CEO/Founder, Konga), Co-creation Hub and Bill Paladino (Ex-amazon and Naspers executive).
Damilola Teidi from GoMyWay tells Appsafrica.com, there are no functioning rail network systems in many countries in the region, so our “aim is to provide a solution to the transportation problem in various parts in Africa via a people-powered transportation network”. Unlike Jekalo which focuses on short intra city trips, GoMyWay is focused on city to city transport.
“We recently launched in Nigeria and will be launching in a few other African countries too” explains Teidi. We are helping protect the environment by reducing carbon emissions as well as reducing traffic congestion in big cities.
As with all new transport services, safety is top of the list as a concern for many users. GoMyWay has four verification levels in place for all members: Facebook, Phone number, Email and Valid ID. There is also member ratings/reviews as well as a dedicated support team to monitor activities on the platform. Co-travelers are free to contact car owners of their choice, and in turn, car owners can accept or decline requests.
At Jekalo all members are verified and ride offers are screened before being published. Jekalo use a social and professional layering that allows users to deploy the product only after signing up and connecting with their Facebook and Linkedin profiles. A user, having registered on the network can choose either to offer a ride or join any of the rides already listed on the sidebar.
Good to share
Compared to public transport, GoMyWay claims to offer the cheapest, fun and most convenient way to travel across the country or within a city. Based on a formula that takes into account travel costs (e.g fuel costs), the platform suggests a fee that car owners can charge their co-travelers. Passengers pay the stated amount to the car owner. Jekalo claims its service is about the same price as using a commercial bus and cheaper than a taxi. With recent surges in taxi fares caused by high fuel costs there is possibly no better time for the sharing economy to launch in Nigeria.