Motorcycle Taxis are Part of a Futuristic Tech-enabled Lagos

Some consider motorcycle taxis dangerous, but venture capitalists are investing millions in these ride-hailing startups. While the Lagos State government does not officially promote motorbike taxis, growing demand for ways to reduce maddeningly long commute times is making an increasing number of people jump on the backs of two-wheeled taxis in Nigeria. Tech companies are now trying to make it easier for riders to link up with motorcycle taxis no matter where these urban passengers may be. Last year, several ride-hailing applications designed to connect riders with motorcycle taxis were launched such as the Gokada app. Residents in Lagos call these two-wheeled taxis “okadas”, because they are so much faster than cars. Okada is the name of Nigeria’s first private commercial airline, Okada Air. During those early years, okadas got a bad reputation because of reckless operators and gruesome accidents. Back then, the number of broken bones and bloody limbs grew so fast that local media nicknamed a section of the National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi the “okada ward”. Today, riding okadas is a little safer because Lagos State restricts them to certain inner streets.SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

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