By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has approved fare increase for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), LAGBUS and franchise buses with effect from 1 March, 2017.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, CEO of LAMATA, Engr. Abiodun Dabiri, who addressed newsmen on Monday at the state secretariat, Alausa said fares would increase from 20 to 50 percent.
With the new development a ride on BRT from Ikorodu to CMS which used to cost N195 is now N300, representing over 65 percent increase, while a trip from Ikorodu to Mile 12, which used to cost N75, has moved to N100, among others.
According to him, as a result of the economic downturn, public transport had been severely impacted as all related costs had escalated beyond any financial forecast or projection.
He added that the current government was focused on a strategic reform of the public transport operations in order to create world class public transport infrastructure and support for operations that is modern, cost effective, safe and sustainable on the long run.
He explained said the licensing of private sector operators to provide affordable and safe operations was part of this ongoing process.
“The current financial crunch, however, has seen average cost of operations increase to up to about 110 percent. With cost of fueling going up by 71 percent, oil prices up by 64 percent, tyre costs up to 90 percent, continued operations is thereby threatened.
“In view of this, and with government responsibility to avert a collapse of the franchise scheme which currently serves over 500,000 commuters daily, the Lagos State Government had to consider the request of the operators for an upward review of bus fares. It is important to note that current prices on some of these schemes have stayed constant for more than six years for some operators.”
Dabiri said that consequently, Ambode had approved a fare increase for the three operators effective from Wednesday, 1 March, 2017. The average increases approved range from 20 percent to 50 percent on different routes.
He explained that in approving the the fare increase, government weighed the justification of the operators for the increase vi-a-vis the effect on the commuters, stressing that government recognized the current financial difficulties currently endured by Lagosians and assured public transportation users on the commitment of government that they would always be protected from arbitrary increases.
“The operators have been advised to improve their cost efficiency and effectiveness as it would be difficult to pass the entire cost of operations to the consumers bearing in mind that a lot of the users are now in low income bracket,” he said.
However, fare from Ikotun to Iyana Ipaja, which used to be N50 has moved up to N100; Ikotun to Ikeja/Maryland has moved up from N100 to N200; Igando to Maryland/Ikeja is now N150 from the former N100, while fare from Dopemu to Ikeja/Maryland has moved up from N50 to N200, among others.