Why Keke Marwa business is booming in Lagos


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Posted by James on Tuesday February 3, 2015 at 10:43:38:

In Lagos state, with commercial motorcycles being banned from certain major roads in the metropolis and taxis or cabs charging exorbitant rates, transportation with mechanized tricycles popularly known as keke marwa is already booming. It has been barely a year now that the government of the Lagos state came up with a law that restricted motorcycles operation in about 475 roads in the state, with bridges inclusive. This according to the government is intended for the protection of lives and property of its residents. Motorcycles have been the means by which a lot of Lagosians prefer to use because they believe that it is very fast compared to the tricycles and other forms of transport. This Keke Marwa transport system has been in existence for long without being really recognized and patronized. It was believed that they were too low and as such not useful in emergency situations.

In a place like Lagos state where people are always in a hurry looking for a fast means of transportation to go about their businesses and daily routine, the natural tendency is for people to opt for the commercial motorcycles. This has over the years made the Keke Marwa operators suffer, while the motorcycle operators popularly known as the ‘okada riders’ were thriving on Lagos roads. However, due to the recent Lagos traffic law which restricted movement of motorcycles in many part of Lagos state, particularly in Lagos Island and Surulere area, okada riders now have little room for their operation as most the road in Lagos are dual carriage ways.

The emergence of these tricycles initially got almost everybody frustrated and groaning, but as time went on and the government refused to yield to their complaints, people now had no choice but to adopt these form of transportation that has long been neglected. However, some commuters still are of the opinion that this outlaw is imposing a lot of hardship to the residents. This form transportation has fast gained grounds as they serve as an alternative to the banned commercial motorcycles. Particular in Lagos state now, the Keke Marwa transport business is a very rewarding one and with this boom, a lot of people are beginning to take advantage of the opportunity in keke marwa, including those who were once okada riders.

Even with the presence of the bus and taxi transport system, the Keke is still taking the lead. Buses have proved to be ineffective largely due to bad management of the system. And taxis on the other hand are quite expensive and only for those who can afford such. Also, one of the advantages the Keke Marwa has over buses and taxis is that apart from motorcycles, they are the only ones that are able to have easy access to a lot of remote areas. This is one factor that is responsible to their high level of patronage, making them become the most used and popular means of transportation in Lagos state. Despite its low speed, it is quite affordable and can access remote areas easily.

Another reason is the growing population of Lagos. There are many people who don't have cars but have enough money to move with buses but at times buses are rarely available nor go through their routes and so tricycles are the closest option. The growing population of Lagos is helping Keke Marwa operators make money since they now get a variety of customers such as from the parks or charter service.

A third reason is affordability. The cost of taking a Keke Marwa from one destination to another in Lagos is mostly cheap and for a flat fee or about N50, one can get to a destination in about 5 minutes. It's cheaper for passengers to even hire a Keke marwa than hiring a taxi. Hiring a Taxi in Lagos can cost at least N500 but a Keke Marwa can charge just N200 for about the same destination as their rates are mostly regulated unlike taxis which are mostly based on price negotiation.

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