By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
A Lagos IT firm has announced plans to launch a tricycle and mini vehicle mobile application across Lagos State to redefine transportation and create over 12,000 jobs in the first year of launch. It plans to further expand the use of the app to other major cities and eventually, across the 36 states of the federation.
The app, called Matatu, is designed specifically to enable passengers to book tricycles popularly known as Keke Marwa and mini vehicles from the convenience of their mobile devices.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Samuel Ajiboyede said Matatu is an idea conceived to make life easy for passengers by allowing them to engage the services of Keke Marwa and minibus operators throw the app.
Ajiboyede who explained that the app will be available on Android and iOS operating devices noted all the passengers needed to do was download the app on their mobile devices, register their details and begins to use.
“What we have done is to simply elevate the Keke Marwa and minibus transportation system with an app that will usher in convenience and safety. All is needed is download the app, registered for the service and you are good to go. Through the app, you can see available Keke Marwa and minibus closest to you and book its’ service. Payment can be made through the app or with cash.
“On the other end, we have thousands of well-trained Keke Marwa drivers who have subscribed to the service and are equipped with devices to locate the nearby passenger who requires their services. For safety and convenience, all Keke Marwa owners signed to our system are duly registered and their Keke Marwa must not be more than two years old. This will also apply to the mini vehicles which Lagosians are increasing patronising ,” he said.
Ajiboyede said meetings have been with Lagos State Ministry of Transportation where discussion about giving special access to Matatu to some restricted areas where Keke Marwa and mini vehicles are presently not allowed to operate.
“We have had meetings with the state Ministry of Transportation on this technology. I can tell you that they are excited about it and have expressed readiness to work with us. We are working the Tricycle Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the app is launched and operated successfully,” he added.
Also speaking on scheme, Matatu’s Executive Director, Business Efficiency, Kemi Ayinde said that the firm has concluded arrangement with a transportation company to inject about 12,000 tricycles into the state transportation system.
According to Ayinde, the 12,000 tricyles will be handed over to we’ll trained drivers registered under the Matatu scheme.
“What we are offering is not just an app, we are also offering an opportunity for people to be empowered. The Matatu scheme also allows people to invest into the Keke Marwa business. All you need to do is to buy some Keke Marwa and we operate it under the Matatu scheme on your behalf. I can tell you that people are already buying into the scheme even when we have not officially launched,” she said.
Mrs Ayinde also hinted that top tricycle manufacturers who have identified with the Matatu investment scheme have agreed to sell their tricycles to subscribers at very low prices.
“Because we want more people to own maruwa through our investment scheme, we have been in talks with top manufacturers and they have assured us that once we launch, they will sell to our prospective investors at an attractive price,” she added.