Lagos stood still on the 28th of May 2015, as the first RIDE SHARING platform in Nigeria was launched. JEKALO is an online platform through which you can share a ride with someone going your direction or route. With this application, a user and the ride-owner are monitored, to secure their safety as well.
Either as a ride-owner or a passenger, JEKALO is designed to make movement to your meetings, offices, homes, or evening hang-outs much easier, lively and comfortable at a very low charge rate. For places like Lagos where there is heavy traffic congestion, ride-owners no longer need to have a boring ride to their various destinations.
In getting started, all one need to do is to enter your destination information and click on the ‘search’ button or join any available rides on the application; these rides would be displayed for you to view. In any case where there is no available ride heading your route, you can request for a notification when an available ride arrives.
The cost of the ride will be calculated and you will get a notification once the ride owner has confirmed your request. By the way, the first couple of rides you join are free, this is similar to Uber.
To offer rides, you have to go to the site, click on the “Offer a Ride” button and enter your route information. The JEKALO admin will scrutinize your ride before it is published on the platform and once it is published, you will start receiving ride request notifications from users for you to accept.
As a ride-owner, you earn points that can be used to redeem cash, fuel vouchers, airtime vouchers, mobile data and more.
In an article published in Ventureburn, Paul Adepoju said “Do Nigerians really need JEKALO or something like that? I think the answer to this is a resounding yes. Yes! Nigeria needs a service that allows people to connect to join rides without a company like Uber, Afrocab or anyone else interfering. For the individuals who want to join a ride, they get to go with someone who is not really a conventional (corporate) taxi driver but is someone like them that does not want to ride alone.”
He also remarked that “Driving in Lagos could be very boring and lonely considering the long hours they spend at standstill and cars moving bumper-to-bumper. Drivers, especially private car owners are often annoyed with the fact that they are burning unnecessarily while lone drivers have to console themselves with any of the radio stations in Lagos. But with someone joining the ride, it could be less stressful – especially if the passenger is of the opposite sex. They also get something in return while the passenger pays less than what he or she would have paid for Uber ride.”
However, it seems that a critical concern with the JEKALO initiative is security because anyone with ulterior motives could use the system either as a Ride Owner or Passenger to reach their targeted and unsuspecting victims. As a security measure for users, the developers of JEKALO have ensured that everyone must have to log in on the platform using both their Facebook AND LinkedIn accounts.
Adepoju suggested security systems such as; partnering with security agencies to keep track of each ride, hooking the passengers and the driver of the cars with panic alarm button, or perhaps putting up cameras within the cars could be helpful.
While the developers of JEKALO are at work to sort out the impending security risks and other peculiar challenges, we can say with certainty that the transportation industry in Nigeria is about to be seriously disrupted by this innovation.
[NOTE: The article on JEKALO was originally written by ventureburn.com and adapted by Southern Brands]