The rapid growth and development of urban settlements globally has propelled the creation of systems to enhance the mobility of people, and there is no going back from it. Albeit inconvenient, municipalities all over the world have one or two public or mass transportation systems in place as a means of preventing the impending doom of doing nothing about it.
In Nigeria, images of people overcrowding a bus station, the unpredictability of timing, and all other attendant challenges these systems pose, have made mass transportation a less attractive service to the people.
This is most pronounced in the mega city of Lagos. An average commuter in Lagos has a lot more to deal with, ranging from harassments from the bus conductors (who are typically called Agberos) to the survival of the fittest hustle to get into a bus when one finally shows up, and the extreme sport of jumping out of the moving bus at their stops. The existing mass transit system has, no doubt, created a negative experience for commuters.
It is on this basis that ‘Zeno’ was born. Zeno, a flagship product from Zeno Digital Limited – an indigenous technology firm in Nigeria – is seeking to change that narrative through organized mass while also leveraging shared economies. The Zeno mobile app will inadvertently change the user journey experience of the average commuter. The Zeno bus service is a schedule-based system that is both time-based and route-based – a 7 am bus leaves exactly by 7 am and heads straight to its destination. It runs via a network of private loading bays all across the city of Lagos. Schedules are available daily for users to book and secure their seats in a bus ride.
The private loading bays have been carefully selected along existing paths to the traditional bus stops. Whilst it immediately shields users and the buses from the harassments and hustle at the traditional bus stops, they are easily located as directions to them are available in the app when a booking has been made. The bus service runs two lines; a blue line with no stops in between and a red line that has only two stops. These stops are simply drop-off points.
A key feature of the Zeno app is FDT (Fixed Daily Transit). This allows users with fixed daily transit pattern to pre-book and schedule their rides ahead of time, saving them the last-minute rush of trying to book or completely missing a trip because it was fully booked. With this feature, users get a reminder 15 minutes before pick-up time to either confirm or cancel their booking. Payment is completely cashless; you can pay in-app via your cards or by purchasing a voucher online.
The Zeno app has an SOS button on the user and driver apps respectively that can be activated when in danger. This allows the business to intervene immediately if there is an issue of concern and can be further escalated to the nearest security agency if need be. Also, there is real-time video surveillance in the buses to capture events as they happen.
Zeno buses are fully air-conditioned and comfortable. Needless to say, the affordability that comes with the shared system is unmatched. The buses also provide the opportunity for individuals to join the scheme as Partners by bringing their buses to the platform. Partners have access to a remote dashboard that shows them how their asset is performing daily while also having a lion share of the revenue. The Zeno app is available to be downloaded on the Google and iOS app stores respectively.
Today, the 1st of April through the 5th of April, several lucky individuals will get free access to the Zeno experience by getting free rides between the Ajah-Lekki-VI axes. You can join the conversation and follow the Zeno experience on social media @Zenonigeria across all platforms.