By Sunday Akintoye
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that many commuters who are not financially buoyant trek half way before they enter a bus conveying them to their various destinations.
One of the commuters, Dayo Adebayo told our correspondent that it is unthinkable to enter a bus from Mushin to Oshodi at the rate of N300.00.
He urged the state government to plead with the commercial drivers to reduce the fares they charge commuters.
“The life in Lagos is very difficult because everything is expensive. I cannot imagine boarding a bus from Mushin to Oshodi at the rate of N300.00.
Why are we making life difficult for ourselves? I think state government should act fast to safe commuters from the hands of commercial drivers who derive joy in charging exorbitant transport fares,” he said.
A trader, Emeka Chinedu, expressed his frustration with the increase in transports fares and called on the state government to bring more of BRT buses out so as to force the commercial drivers to bring their fares down to a reasonable amount.
“Of course, I used to enter from Egbeda to Oshodi N200.00 or N250.00 before but now it is N500.00.This is a day light robbery. We thank God that more BRT are now plying Oshodi and Abule- Egba axis. I gave the government kudos for this initiatives. Considering the population of Lagos State, I am calling on the administration of Babatunde Sanwo- Olu to bring more BRT buses out for commuters in the state.
Some commuters who spoke to our correspondent said they are used to increase in transport fares because they don’t have choice. While some said at times, they spend more than what they budget for transport on daily basis.
Bankole Olawale, who works in Lagos Island confirmed that he spends more than 2000, 00 on daily basis on transportation.
“At times, I spend more than N2000.00 if the traffic situation is terrible in Lagos. I observed that commercial bus drivers flouted the state government directives that they should not accommodate more than fifty percent of passengers in their buses.
Even, when they (commercial bus drivers) accommodate passengers at 100 per cent capacity, they still charge higher fares and this is very unfortunate. If you are coming from Alimosho and you are going to Lagos Island or beyond, your transport fares to and fro will cost you more than N3,000, depending on where you are going to in Lagos Island and its environs,” he said.
Meanwhile, some commercials drivers who spoke to our correspondent said they should not be blamed for the hike in transport fares.
They explained that the increment in transports fares came when government ordered them to accommodate fifty percent of passengers in buses.
“Passengers should not blame the commercial drivers for the increment in transports fares in Lagos. We should not forget one fact that even when we do take in passengers at 100 per cent capacity, police and officials of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) would still demand money from us.”
“So, based on this, we don’t have an option but to increase transport fares to meet up with our targets,” said Chukwu Emmanuel, a commercial bus driver in Iyana- Ipaja, Lagos.