People who commute around cities know how frustrating traffic can be. In Lagos one can spend upward 3hrs just commuting along a 2km terrain. Not always though, but when it does happen, it cripples man-hour and renders the economic contribution of commuters zero on such unfortunate day. It is even reported that Lagos residents spend 3 years out of a 10-year stretch, on the road. The situation calls for any sort of solutions that could ease movement around the metropolis. Gokada entry into Lagos transport system was timely.
According to research, it is estimated that 22 million people travel around Lagos, daily. For various reasons such as traffic, financial challenges, and unavailability of buses or taxi, 40% of the total commuters in the city go on foot especially when traffic become too harsh as you find most nights around Ogolonto, Ikorodu area of Lagos. Trekking like that has even got a name – ‘footwagen’.
Gokada is spot on. Since it entered the market a year ago, the business has grown from just 20 motorcycle riders to over a thousand of them. This two-wheeled transport system travels at 26km/hr in traffic, thereby usurping the average travelling speed of cars at 13km/hr.
Users call book a bike ride via Gokada mobile app on their phones. According to an anonymous user of the app, “the app is fast, the drivers seem well-trained, and you get to your destination on time even through traffic”.
But here is what should get people worried. Conversely, for users, time spent moving around Lagos may have been reduced, but the possibility of occasional bike accident is worth considering. Since motorcycle accidents are mostly fatal, Gokada has a big task to ensure the lives of users are secured. It is not enough to put the bikes in good conditions and engage expert riders, insurance should be put in place to absorb the rare cases of accidents. This insurance should be Life to cover riders and users’ families.
It has been revealed that Gokada handed out US approved elements to its rider. It also provided sanitised hairnets for passengers. Yes, these are great. While the helmets or sanitised materials can prevent brain fracture, and curb viral transfer, none can’t protect against damage somewhere else. For goodness sake, these riders use highways around Ikeja, Lekki, and some other terrains prone to accidents.
To fulfil its potential as the two-wheeled ‘Uber’, Gokada has to ensure riders and passengers are insured and covered under appropriate policies.