By Sola Ogundipe
An entrepreneur, Revd Olusesan Ogunmilade has called for the modernisation of public transport operations in Nigeria for the greater the satisfaction of consumers and guaranteed return on investments by the private sector operators.
Speaking during the introduction of the Agbero App, a city-wide fare payments service that enables commuters to have a fare system commensurate with their ability to pay, Ogunmilade, who is the CEO of RuitiAgbero Limited called for the restoration of order into the chaotic public transportation system in Lagos and other large cities in the country through the operation of organised transport fare payment systems.
He said the app which involves all-round cashless transactions is expected to aid the achievement of the COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing in the ticket purchasing the process involves non-touching of common surfaces like cash, paper, plastic tickets, etc.
“In a low-income economy, as we have in Nigeria, the Agbero App is a positive response to the yearnings of the riders. The philosophy behind it is simple: a reduced fare leads to an increase in ridership and profitability. And conversely, increased fares will lead to low revenue intake for the transport operators as the ridership population decreases.
“The App will pave the way for organised private sector-led public transport operations in Nigeria because the financial intermediaries are thereby assured of guaranteed return on investment.”
According to Ogunmilade, the app which is a fare payment-as-a-service-app enables transport operators to use a platform that gives them fare collection on a platter. They simply log on and they are in service and the app pays them as riders use their services.
“To use the app which is available for download from Google Playstore, riders pay through their phones receive a ticket which enables them to ride on any of the modes of transport including boats, ferries or buses of operators on a one-day-travel around the city.”
Giving an instance, Ogunmilade stated that in London, with an estimated general population of 9.5 million, there are 6,000 buses and 500 trains to cater for a rider the population of six million, compared to Lagos with a population of 25 million, with 1,000 buses and no trains catering for the 12 million rider population.
“Among the core deliverables, the App is designed to provide mobile ticketing solution and limitless ticketing capacity for commuters. The specific deliverables include personalised tickets for riders, reduction in the cost of operations for transport operators and lower fares for riders, commuters and passengers.