Moving around in Lagos can be very stressful. Sometimes, even moving around your neighbourhood or community can prove to be very demanding. Sometimes where you need to go may not be far enough to use your car or close enough to make trekking easy.
While trekking over long distances has benefits like lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, lower risk of anxiety and depression, it isn’t really great for getting somewhere quickly and conveniently.
From visiting the nearby supermarket to meeting up with appointments, people especially students are in hurry to meet up or catch up with an event or activity.
Whatever the case may be, so much running around always takes its toll and most people would rather not be bothered with such stress.
Trekk, a new smart scooter sharing platform, is giving people living in estates and students living in university a new way to move. While it hasn’t taken away the need for movement, its scooters are giving people an easy and incredibly cheap means of moving around quickly.
David, a photographer using Trekk told Technext that the scooters have made movement easy for him.
“Trekk makes it easy to move around. You can quickly get out of your house to the mall or shop to get something and get back instead of working down the road or taking bikes”David
Another user, Priscilla a Unilag student says Trekk scooter would be great for exercising but as a lady that has to dress up with a skirt and all, it’s going to be difficult to use the scooter.
Electric scooters are relatively new to many people in Nigeria but unlike the popular bicycle, the machine does not need excessive movement or peddling. This makes it easier to learn and use for first-timers.
Nadirat, a Unilag student expressed excitement after her first time using Trekk. She said it was fun but had a few complications when she first started. She added that it will take about 10 mins to learn how to use the scooter.
Temidayo, another user, however, claims it should take less than 5 mins.
Riding Trekk was very easy. It was like riding a bicycle but easier. I had no difficulty it took me less than 5 minutes.Temidayo
Sounds very fun, easy and interesting, doesn’t it? That’s probably because it really is.
How Trekk App Works
Trekk employs an app on Andriod and iOS for basic functionalities such as searching for available scooters, payment, unlocking and locking them after use.
Every scooter has a bar code and an identification number. The bar code is the main form of identification printed boldly at the top of the scooter.
First, the user has to download the Trekk app which has a size of about 34Mb on Google Play. Then they will have to register with their full name, phone number, email etc.
The app already has several downloads even though it is still in its launch phase
To find an available scooter, simply click on ‘Let’s Ride’. This takes you to a locations map that shows all available scooters around you. After selecting a scooter, you can access its identification number, see its battery life and a button you can use to beep the scooter will also be made available.
Isaac Oyedokun, the CEO of Trekk Scooters explained that the key is to simply locate a scooter around you, and scan the bar code on the scooter using the Trekk app to book it.
For now, the only means of payment is through an ATM card and while registering your card, you will be required to pay a validation fee.
The cost of using Trekk is quite affordable. According to Isaac, unlocking a Trekk scooter costs N20 followed by a fee of N10 for every min. This means that a rider will pay about N600 for an hour on Trekk.
“The unit price for the Trekk scooter is about N300k, an average student on campus wouldn’t be able to afford this but with as low as 50 Naira you can begin to enjoy Trekk scooters,” Isaac said.
Deola, a Unilag student says the price is very flexible and cheap. “I think N100 for a few minutes on Trekk is okay for me. I had so much fun using the scooter.”
Operation and Challenges
Trekk Scooters is still in the launching and deployment phase. According to its CEO, the company does not plan to launch in all of Lagos due to bad roads.
He however revealed that they will be launching in closed environments like university campuses (Unilag) and residential estates.
We are creating a kind of shared mobility whereby we deploy scooter in your community, let’s say a university campus. And all the students on the campus will be able to ride, you don’t need to wait for a Taxi and it’s available 24hrs.Isaac Oyedokun
Isaac also explained that there will be scooter parks and a charging zone. He also touted that a fully charged Trekk scooter will last 50 km.
Currently, the scooters only work in the parking Zones highlighted on the map in communities and on campuses. After the full launch, Isaac promises that everyone within the ages of 16 to 50 will have an opportunity to access Trekk for exercise or recreation in the evenings and during weekends.
Being a new startup, Trekk faces several challenges and its CEO acknowledged as much. He revealed that bureaucracy to get access to Vice-chancellors and other high ranking members in universities has been difficult.
However, he said they have been able to submit proposals and are already in conversations with executives and high ranking members of several universities including Covenant University
Sandy*, a member of the Unilag union also revealed that maintenance culture will be a major challenge the company will have to combat on the campus. According to him, even the government of the institution stopped repairing some damaged facilities because of poor maintenance culture.
He also pointed out that a similar startup Awa bike which launched on the campus couldn’t survive because of it.
Isaac revealed to Technext that each park station will have a manager and each user will be responsible for properly parking the scooter with the picture verification at the end of each trip.
While this is unique, there is no way to be sure if it handles the problem. Some other key challenges the company can face is with the technology. The scooter can only be unlocked with a smartphone this means that student without it are left out.
Another thing is the issue of ATM card. Peter a student explained that he was first discouraged from using the app because of the ATM request but changed his mind when he got a free voucher to test it.
Like him, many students have given an outstanding review of the use of the app. However, as Isaac revealed, bureaucracy is currently the biggest threat to the growth of the startup.
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