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Jekalo: Nigeria’s First Ridesharing Platform

The internet also has opportunities for transportation. The Lagos commute is hectic, and people keep looking for better ways to ease the tension.

I got to know of Jekalo today, on my way to work. “There’s a lady here I want to join,” my companion tells me. “She works in VI and I can join her for ₦250.” It was a bit confusing. At first, I imagined she was a cab driver. But no, she’s a registered Jekalo driver and if you live in Ajah but work at Victoria Island, you can join her for as low as ₦250. Isn’t that convenient, relieving you of the stress of rickety conventional buses whilst offering you the convenience of a car.

Jekalo, a Yoruba term for “come let’s go”, is Nigeria’s first ridesharing platform, founded by Mr. Motoni Bolarinwa in May 2015. It is an online technological platform that connects those who need a ride to those who can offer it. Both parties log on to www.jekalo.com to join or offer rides.

To join a ride:

“1. Enter your trip information and click on the “search” button OR join any of the already displayed rides.
2. Available rides that match your route will be displayed and you can join any of the rides. [If none matches your route, you can choose to get notified when there’s a ride for your route]
3. To ensure the platform is safe, you need to sign in using your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts as well as verify your phone number.
4. You will get notified once the ride owner has confirmed your ride request.”

I tried the steps and in less than 30 seconds, a verification code was sent to my line. But that’s not all. Jekalo offers mutual benefits to both rider and driver. Why would one ride alone when you can receive payments from offering a ride? In Jekalo’s words, “As a ride owner, you earn points that can be used to redeem cash, fuel vouchers, airtime vouchers, mobile data and more.”

To offer a ride:

“1. Click on the “Offer a Ride” button and enter your route information.
2. To ensure the platform is safe, you need to sign in using your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts as well as verify your phone number.
3. Jekalo admin will vet your ride before it is published on the platform.
4. Once it is published, you will start receiving ride request notifications from users for you to accept.”

To ensure safety for both parties, Jekalo has made sure it verifies riders and drivers via their Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

Jekalo is not Uber. In Uber you call a cab; in Jekalo, you are not the only passenger; you get to ride with other work professionals who take the same commute with you. Something spectacular about this is that it also reintroduces the fast disappearing human-to-human bond in the society; something that is not common with other online technological innovations.

Why ride solo or stressed? Log on to www.jekalo.com to make your daily commute interesting.

 

 

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Nnenna is an editor and writer at Connect Nigeria. She loves fine art, books and places.

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