Yes, it’s true. From Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 all Gokada pilots will be off the roads and the Gokada app will be shut down.
Increased competition, regulatory hurdles, and operational issues have forced us to make this decision. We thank all our loyal users and are truly sorry for this inconvenience.
Fortunately, WE’LL BE BACK ONLINE MONDAY, AUGUST 26TH, 2019 BETTER THAN EVER.
That’s right. A little bit of clickbait to wake you folks up! Sorry, what can I say I’m a prankster.
Gokada is shutting down but not for the reasons you think. It all started with…
So what’s going on? Well, a little over a week ago I had taken a Gokada hoping to avoid traffic to get to the mainland bridge from VI. From there I planned to take a car. I opened the Gokada app, requested, got a pilot, and waited patiently for him to arrive. I called to confirm my location which the pilot said he knew. 5 minutes pass by.. and the pilot had not moved. Another 5 minutes pass and the pilot was going in the wrong direction. After 15 minutes and three phone calls, the pilot finally arrived at which point I’m thinking it might have been faster to take a car all the way through. Upon questioning the pilot, I learned that he didn’t use GPS on his phone because the earplugs he had were broken. Irritated, I motioned him to get started with the ride as I was in a hurry. It should be pretty obvious how to get to the mainland bridge from VI, so I didn’t concern myself with providing him directions but I knew from Google Maps using the best route, it should only take 10–15 minutes. After about 15 minutes, we were still on the road. I hastily took out my phone and did a quick input of the directions to the bridge and realized we were still 15 minutes away. This pilot had taken a long route to get to the bridge, one that would have been completely avoided had he used the map. I motioned that I would direct him based on the Google Maps navigation. Unfortunately, just as we were about to reach the bridge I directed the pilot to a wrong turn which would have required us to turn all the way around. At this point, it was obvious that a car would have been much faster even with all the traffic. How could I be the CEO of Gokada, the company that pioneered motorcycle ride-hailing in Nigeria and be saying this? I was disappointed in Gokada but most of all, I was disappointed in myself. I told the pilot to pull over to the side of the road, I would hop over the median and wait for an Uber. “This is what it has come to,” I thought.
I made a decision right then that things needed to change.
It’s not easy criticizing your own company. But either I could ignore these issues and move along happily like everything was fine. Or I could realize that this kind of thing is happening to our customers thousands of times over. I am not ok with that.
Gokada was started to change the perception of what the bike taxi could be in terms of safety, convenience, and transparency. In many ways, we’ve succeeded but we have also failed. We can only win by doing right to our customers and our pilots. That is why today I am excited to announce our Gokada 2.0 initiative.
What can you expect?
Brand new bikes
Much better quality and sexy as hell.
All drivers retrained
We’re closing shop to retrain our drivers in customer service, hygiene, driving, and navigation use.
Higher safety measures
Maximum speeds, adhering to all traffic laws, new Bluetooth helmets.
We’re offering drivers more: maintaining their bikes for free, opening a drivers club, and expanding our health benefits.
Big problems require big solutions. We’re sorry for the inconvenience this may cause you in the short term. But in the long run, we firmly believe that when you want to get somewhere fast, safe, and hassle-free — there won’t be any other app you’d want to open other than Gokada.
Stay safe. Stay green.
CEO of Gokada