On June 28, I opened and read the Morning Brew newsletter and came across the article, “Hey Lagos Residents, Uber Wants to Float Your Boat”. Uber is launching a water taxi service in Lagos, Nigeria. It’s a city I’m very familiar with, and the most populous city on the African continent.
This took me back to April 2017, where I made #3 place in Suffolk University’s Greenhorn Summit pitch competition in April 2017. I developed a deck for LasGidi Transit, a business-class water taxi concept across the Lagos lagoon. In the process, I connected with some movers and shakers in some Lagos ‘s mass transportation agencies. This all started when I took an Urban & Environmental Planning class on Sustainable Transportation. Then, I took a class on Innovative Social Entrepreneurship and I decided to launch a business venture based on what I had learned about the transportation challenges in hyper dense, major cities like Lagos, specially one that is surrounded by water.
About 2 weeks after the end of the entrepreneurship class, I took a 2 week trip to Lagos, a city that my family is closely connected to, and experienced firsthand what being a commuter was like and the challenges that are unique to that city. Coincidentally, I took a lot of Uber rides when I was in Lagos. Uber has been a boon to the middle class, driver-less, and busy middle class of Lagos, and income-earning opportunity for Uber drivers.
Those challenges are not insignificant and I am thrilled for the people of Lagos, especially business commuters whose daily commutes can be as long as 4 hours.
And while I am bummed out that Uber beat me to the market in Lagos, I’m amazed that my business concept was one that held water, something that a mega corporation like Uber believes is viable. Amazing! So excited for how this goes.
1. Grant, K. Hey Lagos Residents, Uber Wants to Float Your Boat. https://www.morningbrew.com/daily/stories/2019/06/28/hey-lagos-residents-uber-wants-float-boat. Retrieved on June 28, 2019.
P.S. Please reach out to me if you’re interested to hear more about LasGidi Transit. I would love to meet like-minded people.