As the new fare regime announced by the Lagos State government for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), LAGBUS and franchise buses begins today, commuters have expressed their displeasure with the hike in fare.
The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) had recently announced its plans to effect an upward review of BRT and LAGBUS fares from March 1, stating that the current economic recession posed a serious threat to its continued operations.
The aggrieved commuters, who spoke to The Guardian yesterday, lamented that the increase would cause more havoc to the sufferings of Lagosians, who are still battling to survive hardship occasioned by the economic recession.
The fare increase, which ranges from 20 to 50 per cent, cuts across all the routes. For instance, a trip from Ikorodu to Mile 12, with a fare of N70 will become N100 from today. Ikotun to Iyana Ipaja will move up from N50 to N100, while Ikotun to Ikeja would be N200 from N100 per trip.
Also, from Igando to Maryland will now cost N150 from its former fare of N100, while every passenger commuting from Dopemu to Ikeja/Maryland would pay N200 as against the N150 fare.
A commuter, Joyce Nwosu, said it is obvious that the recession is no longer just a word like the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, once stated. “This is hardship. Why must the fare be increased when salaries of workers have not been reviewed for increment?”
An unemployed youth, Gbenga James, said “the increment is a means of extorting from poor Nigerians rather than alleviate our sufferings. The increase would give the yellow commercial buses popular known as Danfo the excuse to unfairly hike their prices too.”
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Ministry of Transport has no plan to ban yellow buses known as Danfo but to upgrade them to international standard, the acting Commissioner for Transport, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, has disclosed.
Elegushi made the disclosure yesterday during a stakeholder’s forum to deliberate on how to improve the transport system in the state. He said government’s plan was to restructure the transportation system in the state to international standard.
“What we are planning is to restructure the transportation system in the state to meet international standard. We are changing the face of the transport system in Lagos with fully air-condition buses, charging port, CCTV and other infrastructure for the benefit of commuters,” he said.
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