By Rasheed Sobowale

Tech Review: Excerpt:

Cariska is one of the indigenous rideshare services in Nigeria with great inspiration behind it. But needs some amelioration to truly serve its purpose.

It is no news again that the Lagos State government has banned popular transportation wheeled motor vehicles ― motorcycle (Okada) and tricycles (Keke Napep) from commercial operations on certain roads and highways.

Before the ban of these vehicles, conveying yourself around Lagos is a story everyone in Nigeria can tell, even those who have never been to the Southwest megacity.

That was why I was interested in checking out a rideshare app, Cariska, recently launched by a tech firm in Lagos.

Checking with the brain behind the tech, I discovered the app was developed to solve the problem faced by many Lagosians in efficiently conveying themselves across Lagos without much delay.

The Idea

The idea of Cariska is to connect passengers with private car owners. The difference between this app and the conventional rideshare app is that it connects passengers with car owners going their way.

ALSO READ: Nigeria’s tech startup CEOs, employees salaries revealed

This model is unlike typical rideshare apps that will require the driver to locate the passenger and take him/her to an agreed destination.

Mode of Payment

After downloading and installing the app via Google Play Store; just as expected, I registered my details on the app but there was no request for my preferred payment method.

How would I pay the driver? There was also no feature to estimate the cost of my ride.

When the app inventor was contacted, he explained the drivers will be the ones to determine the t-fare. Drivers will indicate the amount they are charging for the ride and users can see it before booking.

Really? How does the platform plan to regulate the price charged by these drivers?

READ ALSO: There is not enough women-led tech start-ups- Microsoft partner

After waiting for a long time and finally seeing a ride going my way, my hope can be dashed if the price indicated by the driver is too high.

This leaves the users with no other choice than to get a normal bus or taxi which is cheaper. 

This strategy is a red flag that might destroy the main essence of the app itself.

Including a feature that estimates distance and allocate price would have been better.

Cariska user interface

Colour is one of the most important things when it comes to branding. Colour communicates feeling. But the colour used by Cariska for its app seems offbeat.

Yellow! This colour according to many brand experts is used to stimulate enthusiasm, that is why it is used by companies in the shopping business. it simply represents fun.

A rideshare app should communicate tranquillity and security. Anybody booking a ride via the app is expecting nothing short of these. They want to save the stress of waiting and fighting to board a bus and at the same time, confident they are safe.

Green, blue or tinted black would have been better off.

Vehicle registration

I tried accessing the Cariska Offer A Ride page where drivers are expected to register. As a potential user of the Find A Ride feature, the criteria laid down for the drivers’ registration is not enough.

They are required to upload their vehicle details, but no section of the form indicates where prospective drivers were being asked to upload their driver’s licence.

Some users may overlook this, but not a doubting Thomas like me who is a safety freak. 

I need to be sure the person that will be driving me is competent enough to do so.

Driver’s licence should be among the requested documents that drivers registering on the app need to upload. 

Cariska a disruptive app?

Undoubtedly, the app is one of a kind. The model is fantastic. If the developers can do the required amelioration, especially including a feature that approximate a fair cost of the ride to avoid passengers being exploited by drivers, this indigenous app will solve the problems of many Lagosians and give the popular rideshare apps a run for their money.

Cariska can be the tech answer to the ban of Okada and Napep in Lagos State.

Vanguard News Nigeria.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.