The Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN), one of the country’s largest tricycle operator unions has been lauded for taking proactive steps to ensure safety of tricycle drivers and passengers during the COVID-19 crisis. Over a week ago, TOAN issued a circular advising their affiliated tricycles to limit the number of passengers they carry in tricycles (popularly known as Keke), in what is being seen as an essential form of transportation at this time of crisis as well as the wearing of face masks and sanitization of frequent contact points in the vehicles.
Dr Kelechi Okoro, a leading health advocate commended TOAN via her social media handles saying, “As a medical practitioner, I say kudos to TOAN for taking proactive steps to increase the safety of their riders and passengers, by announcing health and safety norms to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Kekes can be a safer option of public transport because of limited passengers and open ventilation, and TOAN has gone one step further by limiting passengers to two persons at a time.” Augustine Apeh, TOAN president, also said, “We at TOAN encourage keke operators affiliated to us to do their utmost to support the populace in these difficult times. We shall do everything we can in line with different safety directives as issued by the Nigerian Government and health agencies while ensuring the public has access to what has been identified as one of the safer modes of public transport in this situation.”While the general public may have necessary restrictions imposed on movement to curb the virus, it is important that point-to-point public transportation still remains open for those who are unwell, those who are travelling for essential services and most importantly for emergency and medical workers who have to commute for work. So, it is imperative that the public finds a mode of transport that is as safe as possible and for now the tricycle seems to be one of saafer choices.