What’s the Gen Z Transport Culture in Nigeria? (Asked & Answered)

Youngsters (Gen z’s) crossing the street
Photo by Budgeron Bach on Pexels

Gen Z is a general term used to refer to people born between 1997–2012. As it is, they are typically within the age of nine to twenty-four (9–24). Gen Zers in Nigeria are often characterized as being averse to stressful situations, as they are always on the lookout for ways to make life easier for themselves and others; hence, their keen sense for innovating.

We talked to a few Gen Zers about what their daily transportation routes are like; below is a summary of our survey:

  • Fifi, a nineteen-year-old UNILAG student:

Choosing a means of transportation personally is based on the comfort level and how quickly I’ll get to my destination. One time, when motorcycles who rode far distances were still rampant, I boarded a bike from home at Magodo phase 2 to UNILAG. I wanted to get to school without experiencing traffic and less stress, so that was the best option. It rained heavily during the ride, though, but I enjoyed it anyway. And I got to school early enough with enough time to dry off.

When it became harder to get such bikes, I used cabs more frequently. I can’t bear the stress of jumping on danfo buses and all, so even if we’d encounter traffic, I’d at least be comfortable in my seat.

When I don’t have much cash, I carpool with my friends. So we’re comfortable and not paying through our noses. I think that’s fair enough.

  • J, a 22-year-old:

I try to avoid being harassed by touts or the police sometimes, so cabs are my major means of transportation. Unless there’s a surge or the distance is short, you’d rarely see me travel by any other means.

  • Faith, a 23-year-old Marketer:

My mum is always telling me to avoid bikes. She believes they are accident-prone and that the riders have little or no regard for safety, mainly because of stories she’s heard. She’s not completely wrong, this has not been my experience though. Bikes are a quicker way for me to get things done on time rather than spend half of my day on the road and be already stressed out before I even begin my tasks. Nah, no way. Most of the stories she’s heard are from people who use(d) the regular bikes, I don’t. I use ride-hailing services, there are a couple of them; I feel safe that way.

  • Fade, a 21-year-old Corper:

If I’m not going out by cab, then someone is coming to give me a ride. The last time I boarded a bike or bus was two years ago; I just want to live a stress-free life these days. When I don’t have enough cash to use a cab-hailing service, I sleep at home or call a friend to lend me his car.

  • Peter, an eighteen-year-old:

Do people have preferences? (laughs) My own is just to get to my destination, whatever means it takes. I can’t afford to board cabs every time because I go out a lot. I can’t board a bike at night, because it’s not safe. I don’t easily find buses with space in my area in the mornings. So you see, I go for whatever is available at the moment; I can’t exactly say I have a preference or a culture per se.

  • Babs, a 24-year-old Farm Manager:

I go out every day and what influences my transport means is the area I’m visiting, affordability, and time. Bikes tick all the boxes; what I love the most about them is the fact that they are not time-consuming. Bikes are my go-to vehicles any day.

  • Joshua, a 23-year-old:

I drive myself to and from work every day. When I’m unable to drive for some reason, I carpool with someone or get a cab. And when it’s within a short distance, I board a bike to get there quickly.

Additional Responses

In addition to the responses above, we ran a poll on a WhatsApp group chat populated by Gen Zers only. From a sample size of sixty-eight (68) people, (47%) make use of various types of ride-hailing services, (23.5%) board bikes majorly, (17.6%) prefer to hop on buses, (11%) drive themselves, while the remaining (11%) do not have a specific preference, with arriving at their destinations being the priority. Those who hop on buses claim to do so because it is more affordable than boarding cabs. Team Cabs prefer cabs because of the comfort they provide, while those who prefer bikes maintain their preference because they want to avoid traffic and save time.

The Gen Z transport culture is heavily influenced by comfort, cost, time, and security, which isn’t too inconsistent with other generations. The only major difference would be that they are the most technology-friendly generation. Technology-based transportation options seem to be the most favoured.

MAX is a mobility company that uses technology to make moto-taxis safe, affordable and accessible to underserved communities in Africa.