Editorial Team

Emmanuel Udom-Managing Editor, Stephen Dijo Philemon-Deputy Editor, Janet Udom-Senior Correspondent, Precious Udom-Senior Correspondent, Williams Ita-Bureau Chief(Akwa Ibom/Cross River), Fabian Idoko-Senior Correspondent

    Manufacturer's Representative Import Export General Merchandise Contract Adress: Araromi Quarters, Owode Area, Ifo, Ogun state, Nigeria P.O.Box 2632, Oshiodi, Lagos Telephone: 2348166719412

    Wednesday, 1 March 2017

    BRT: Increase in fares, ‘poor transport services’ to Lagosians

    Fola Tinubu, managing director, Primero transport services, operators of the Lagos state bus rapid transit (BRT) scheme recently announced plans to increase its fares on all routes February.

    Tinubu said the increase was as result of its increasing operational cost, saying that the company has maintained a fare of N75, N120, and N195 from Ikorodu to Mile 12, Fadeyi, and CMS respectively since November 2015.

    His words:  “At this time last year, we bought 1.2 million litres of diesel every month at N120 per litre.  But, we are now buying at N260.”
    “All the parts used for the buses are imported, so they’ve all doubled or tripled in prices and we have no choice, but to continue to buy them.

    “In doing that we have to find a way to make it work because the buses were bought in China.

    So, we have a foreign dollar component in our debt portfolio.
    “When we bought the buses it was N168 to a US dollar and now we are talking of N470 and we still have to pay the dollar component back.

    “In fact, right now, we are subsidising every person we carry.”
    He said though the company was aware of its social responsibility, but the increase in fares was inevitable if its bus services were to be kept on a sustainable footing.

    “The airlines have increased theirs between 200% and 300%, but we will not even do 100%.

    “So, it is going to be something manageable for people. I will try not to put a figure to that now because the governor still has to approve it, and I don’t want to pre-empt him.

    “What I can say is that it’s going to be a marginal increase and not a drastic increase and still less than what the commercial bus operators are charging right now.

    “We are not even going to be close to that; but there is no other solution to it because if we do not, it is going to be recipe for disaster down the road,” Tinubu, said.

    “We send a total of 75 buses out at 4.30 so that when majority of the busmen are changing over the early risers are still on the wheels.
    However, investigations conducted by Vicnuel revealed that despite the increase in transport fares, most Lagosians were still facing hell on the first day of the implementation of the increase.

    Passengers at Igando in Lagos were stranded for about an hour waiting BRT bus from Iyana-Ipaja, even as the ticketers were not polite in their dealings with the passengers.

    A female ticketer almost lost her temper while explaining to a passenger that the fare has increased from N50- N70.

    Some passengers on board BRT buses plying Iyana Ipaja-Ojodu Berger route also complained that they waited for hours after paying the new fare of N120 as against N100 for a bus to convey them to their destination.

    At the toll gate end of the Lagos-Ogun axis, hundreds of passengers also waited for BRT buses that were coming in from Oshiodi.

    James Adekola, a passenger lamented that despite the recession, the BRT management is only interested in increasing transport fares without providing enough buses to convey passengers to their destinations.

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