‘Surviving Lagos’ does not only refer to how people cope in the densely populated City but also, how businesses, especially startup among other things can strive hard to stay relevant in their respective fields
Just recently, the Bike-Hailing Startups in Lagos have taken a new turn, having to do with ticketing arrangement with the likes of NURTW, RTEAN, and others. Bikers of the respective startups will hence have to deal with their worst nightmare- Paying a cumulated daily fee of ₦500 (instead of the initially-proposed ₦1,000) to the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), and others respectively.
According to a reliable source, NURTW, and RTEAN will each receive ₦200 ($0.55) respectively, while ₦100 ($0.28) will go to the local government who will be in charge of the ticketing process. What this means for riders is that at the end of the year (365 days), each person would have paid a total of ₦182,500 to the various authorities which do not include the State Government.
For a moment, this feels like a lot for the riders, assuming the bike-hailing company will not take responsibility for either part or all the levies imposed on the Bikers– currently, there is yet to be any official statement to that regards from the respective companies including ORide, Max, Gokada, all of which are the biggest in that space.
While ₦182,500 is considered as a lot of money for a single rider for the period of a year– it means that an average of 1000 Bikers for respective bike-hailing startups would amount to ₦182.5 million per-annum. The total amount paid on 1,000 bikes If compared to the initial ₦25 million license fee proposed by the Lagos Government for individual companies; it is quite outrageous and uncalled for.
Certainly, no one in the Bike-hailing system will be unaffected– the Company, Bikers, and the riders. Assuming the respective companies claim responsibility for the cost imposed on the Bikers, then, a potential surge in trip rates can be envisaged respectively. Either way, all parties will have to dance to the new tone eventually.
While the bike-hailing companies and the Bikers could possibly not escape the new ticketing arrangement, Riders who may now have to deal with increased trip rates may be left with just one favorable choice- ‘not to go the bikeway’. If I have to spend so much on taking a bike, then I better book a ride instead. Indirectly, this might tell on the bikers who will now have fewer people to drive around, however, that’s ‘IF’ there is a surge in trip rate eventually.
Speaking to a reliable source on the matter, Gokada CEO, Fahim Saleh, informed that they are trying to manage the situation efficiently. “Our drivers will most likely bear the cost, but we will try to subsidize the cost for them. We may also need to explore increasing fares to account for the ticketing but [we] have not yet decided on the matter,” Fahim said.
On the flip side, the charges levied on bikers, is not totally a strange initiative by the respective authorities, considering that the traditional commercial bikers are also forced to pay certain levies to the likes of NURTW, and RTEAN, which in most cases is more expensive. An unconfirmed source told that an average traditional biker pays as much as ₦1,050 on a daily basis which is quite ridiculous assuming taht’s a fact.