News

February 22, 2022

Transport sector reform: Sanwo-Olu set to kick-off e-hailing LagRide service with 1,000 fleet

Transport sector reform: Sanwo-Olu set to kick-off e-hailing LagRide service with 1,000 fleet

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

In line with the on-going transportation sector reform, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has concluded plans to launch a modern ride e-hailing service, Lagos Ride in the state.

The new initiative, with code; “LagRide,” according to the state government is to further ensure seamless transportation system for teeming commuting populace in the state.

The service with the tagline, “ride in comfort” is expected to be launched soon by the state government.

Sanwo-Olu, had in March 2021, unveiled a new e-hailing taxi scheme to redefine road transportation in the state.

The Governor, also signed partnership agreement with CIG Motors Company Limited for the take-off of “Lagos Ride” scheme with pilot fleet of 1,000 units of brand new Sport Utility Vehicles SUVs.

According to Sanwo-Olu, LagosRide would deploy 1,000 units of brand new SUVs within the Lagos metropolis in the first phase.

The branded SUVs the Lagos government unveiled typically cost upwards of ₦10 million ($26,000) in Nigeria, but the governor revealed that the Cooperative Society in the Lagos Ministry of Wealth Creation will give drivers the room to pay monthly instalments for a period of four years.

At the end of the period, the drivers will be able to fully own the cars.

The government had initially, projected to kick off the project within the next six months which has expired.

This move is yet another ride-hailing initiative with close ties to the state government.

According to Sanwo-Olu, at the unveiling of the project earlier, “The initiative is targeted at improving mobility and creating a multi-modal transportation system for Lagosians.”

The governor continued; “The scheme is in fulfilment of our desire to give residents better transportation choices.

“The modern ride service is one of the State Government’s socio-economic intervention programmes, which will be professionally managed in line with global best practices.”

Meanwhile, last Sunday, February 20, 2022, the vehicles, Lagos Ride, numbering hundreds, attracted motorists and commuters attention on Third Mainland Bridge as they were lined up in convoy enroute destination points.

It was gathered that the app is available on google play store where the franchise company described it as “a mobility solution that will allow users book and share the cost of a ride with similar transit patterns.”

The modus operandi of the app will link up users based on their preferred pick and drop off points each not more than 1km apart respectively and pick-up time not more than five mins apart.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Ggbenga Omotoso, confirmed the planned official launch of the initiative by Mr. Governor.

Background

In March 2020, two entrepreneurs, Nathaniel Gideon and Segun Cole founded Ekocab, a ride-hailing service that looked to rival Uber and Bolt, in partnership with the Lagos state government.

The timing of the launch coincided with the period when people were still feeling the effects of the ban on Lagos commercial motorcycle, popularly called “Okada” and there was fresh regulatory attention on ride-hailing powerhouses, Uber and Bolt.

Heated controversy trailed the launch, and the app was greeted with harsh reviews on the Google Play Store.

While it is not clear how more cars and SUVs will ease transportation in Lagos, the Lagos Commissioner for Transportation, Fredric Oladeinde had already revealed plans for alternative means of transportation like boats, buses, and an intra-state railway system.

The Lagos state government also said it will be partnering with CIG Motors Limited, a Chinese vehicle manufacturer, to set up a vehicle assembly plant in Lagos.