Lagos kicks off ride scheme with 1000 new cars

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has unveiled the 1000 new GAC branded cars to be deployed for the Lagos Ride Taxi Scheme.

The taxi scheme, which would be deployed across the state would be a ride hailing service, with the aim to provide better service compared to present hailing services in terms of comfort, security and safety.

Sanwo-Olu, while launching the initiative, said it was another historical moment for the state and fulfillment of election promises.

According to him, the state government would also be part of such initiatives, especially because Lagos has continued to be home to many teaming youths who are looking for hope.

He said his administration has moved another step forward in its drive to develop an efficient transportation model.

Sanwo-Olu said: “The need to provide better, dignifying and more rewarding means of transportation and livelihood for unemployed and underemployed population gave birth to the new ‘Lagos State Taxi Scheme’, which will be operated on a lease-to-own basis. Under this arrangement, a beneficiary will be provided a brand-new car, which will become the driver’s property after completion of the payment of the vehicle’s subsidised cost.

“This taxi scheme will complement the various bus services, which are making significant impact in the lives of our people; the water transport service, which is recording unprecedented patronage, as well as the Blue and Red Line Rail services, which are on course to commence commercial operations between the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2023.”

Sanwo-Olu said a full security gadget, including a 360 dashboard camera that will give 24-hour audio-visual feeds to the control centre, had been pre-installed on each car deployed for the scheme to improve riders’ and passengers’ security.

He added that each car came with a physical panic button that could be used by anyone on board in case of assault or emergency. The panic button, the Governor said, is also on the mobile application and is connected to the Control and Command Centre.

The governor further said that with the support that the state government has provided the CIG motors, he expects that the company would double the capacity of assembly plants in Lagos.

On his part, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladehinde, described the scheme as “another milestone achievement” by the State Government, noting that the initiative had joined an array of other innovative solutions initiated in the transport sector, which were targeted at redefining public transportation. He said the technology on which the scheme is operated had made ride-sharing possible for passengers, who would agree to share ride and share transit costs.

Chairman of CIG Motors in Nigeria, Mrs. Diana Chang, said the roadmap for the urbanisation of the transportation system in Lagos started in November 2019 when the Governor and members of his cabinet visited the Republic of China for bilateral partnership. The launch, she said, is the glorious end of the partnership sealed with Chinese investors.

On his part, the Managing Director of IBILE Holding, Mr. Abiodun Amokomowo, said over 5,700 drivers had downloaded the driver’s mobile apps as at last Tuesday, out of which 1,786 drivers submitted applications.

According to him, “As part of the process each operator will go through for the safety and security of life and effective operations of the scheme, we will conduct full verification of applicants’ Lagos State Drivers’ Institute (LASDRI) ID cards, medical history, background check and verification of NIN and Lagos resident registration numbers.”

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