Crowdyvest, the investment arm of Farmcrowdy Group, has launched a public bus-hailing service, PlentyWaka, in Lagos. The pilot phase of this new service started on Monday with the buses covering only the Ajah-CMS route for now.
A technology-driven bus sharing solution, PlentyWaka just works like every other ride-hailing platform. The service allows users schedule their rides from their preferred locations to their destination with an assurance of safety, comfort and convenience.
The new platform is an offshoot of Farmcrowdy’s Crowdyvest platform that connects sponsors to investment opportunities in key sectors of the economy like health, education, energy, transport, real estate with the exception of agriculture.
Bus-hailing platforms have revolutionised transportation globally, especially in emerging markets where there are concerns about pollution and traffic congestion. And in Nigeria, the local mass transport (Danfos) are often of poor quality and unreliable. Plus government-owned transits, like Lagos’ LagBus, aren’t always readily available when they should be.
This need for a convenient means of daily commute provides an opportunity for bus-hailing startups to thrive. And because it’s a mass transit service and users only get to book a sit, it comes at cheaper rates compared to ride-hailing platforms like Uber and Bolt. This appeals to a wider range of customers.
“PlentyWaka is the next step for the future of the transport system in Lagos. Having access to safe, convenient and accessible transportation options is crucial to reducing bad driving, related crashes, and possible eventualities.”Johnny Enagwolor, Managing Director, PlentyWaka.
PlentyWaka will run a test phase for 12 weeks with 25 buses. During this period its buses will work from morning (5am) till night (10pm). The next phase of the project will see PlentyWaka increase the number of its buses to 300 to cover more areas.
However, PlentyWaka will not be launching in an unsaturated market. Startups such as Opay’s OBus, Swvl, Staffbus.ng, are already operating a similar service, although they haven’t really had much of an impact since they launched.
Competition from already launched ride-hailing startups and bike-hailing startups cannot be ruled out.
The ruthless Lagos traffic or ‘go-slow’ cannot also be overlooked as this might see PlentyWaka racing against its hailing schedule. However, it is hoped that PlentyWaka can work around these and make a mark in its space.
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