A Love Letter From Our Co-Founder, Onyeka Akumah
It’s been over a month since the lockdown was lifted and we were able to resume our service, after the suspension imposed by the government. We are so thankful to be back on the road again and back to business. I wanted to reassure you about your immediate concerns around cleaner and safer travel and also trying to tackle the ongoing issues of movement in Lagos — which is a pain point for all of us. However, as we try and return to our brand of normalcy, I implore you to do so safely.
Our one-month hiatus during the suspension placed me in a state of reflection. Lagos is one of my favorite places in the world but as much as I love this state, it’s far from what its people deserve. A crisis like COVID-19 magnifies the inadequacies in our infrastructure and puts us in an extremely vulnerable position, with poor transport being a key factor in hindering our economic growth and the development of health, housing and sanitation systems. As a team, we have had to rethink how we work, and in doing so, have had to rethink how thousands of commuters move about the city safely. How could we use our service and platform to provide stronger reassurances to you?
We had to be pragmatic; that’s why we launched the Plentywaka Staff Bus Solutions and expanded our routes just after a month of resumption. A brow-raising move to some, but it made perfect sense to us and you @tayo_wunmi who tweeted, “Great! Transportation is sorted for when I resume working physically”.
Lagos needs to be moving to survive, you need to be moving in order to provide for yourself and your families. However, leaving home to publicly commute has become a daunting experience. Safety has taken on a wider meaning, one that Plentywaka has fully embraced as a new standard, adopting all the precautionary measures set by the NCDC and the state government that includes fumigating and disinfecting our vehicles daily. We want to reassure each and every one of our current [and future] riders that we would continue to provide the service that removes those anxieties; a means of transport you can rely on to safely get you back to business, back to the hustle of Lagos and back to your 2020 plans.
Once we returned to our routes, we were able to continue our commitment to radically improve transportation through our innovative technology; The Plentywaka App. The lack of a good transportation system is failing us immensely; there’s so much potential in Lagos, but that potential is literally stuck in traffic on Lekki bridge during rush hour. We are tasked with changing the perceptions of public transport, a challenge we happily take so we can all move better and get off that bridge. Idealistic? It works in great cities all around the world and there is no reason why we can’t have it here too.
As well as this, I know it’s possible because six months after we launched we recorded 100,000 completed rides, with over 30,000 of you signed up as riders, so to @ngthink2017 who recently tweeted “these guys at Plentywaka are top-notch. I see a Lagos takeover.” I am not one to place all my cards on the table, but we definitely have plans to scale and scale big.
Safety, convenience, and comfort are our three pillars of service. I wanted to let you know that neither has wavered during this pandemic, we have just taken it up a level. We are resilient, resourceful, and dynamic people but we still need reassurances and we don’t mind doing that to put your mind at ease.
Thanks again to all of you for moving with us. Stay safe and well.