BRT: Lagos commuters to pay more ― LAMATA

Lagos State government has approved marginal increase of between 20 and 50 per cent in the transport fares payable by commuters using the State Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) effective March 1, 2017.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. Abiodun Dabiri, disclosed this on Monday at a press briefing which took place at Alausa, Ikeja.

He said the decision arose due to the current economic down turn in the country and the need to avert the collapse of the franchise scheme which currently serves over 500,000 commuters daily.

“The current financial crunch has seen average cost of operations increase to up to about 110 per cent. With cost of fueling going up by 71 per cent, oil prices, up by 64 per cent, tyre costs up by 90 per cent, 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 6 years for some operators.

“Consequently, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has approved a fare increase for the three operators effective from Wednesday, 1st March 2017. The average increases approved range from 20% to 50% on different routes,” Dabiri said.

Dabiri, while noting that the fare increase would affect 61 routes in the state, said with the new step, commuter journeying from Ikorodu to CMS would now pay N300 instead of the current fare of N195. The operators had requested that they be allowed to charge N400.

For commuters moving from Ikotun to Ipaja, Dabiri said they would as from March 1, 2017 part with N100 instead of N50 that they are currently paying, while those journeying from Mile 12/Fadeyi would be charged N100 instead of N75 which they are currently paying as fare.

In approving the fare increase, he said government weighed the justification of the operators for the increase, vis-a-vis the effect, on the commuters

“The government recognizes the current financial difficulties currently endured by Lagosians and wishes to emphatically assure public transport users on the commitment of government that they will always be protected from arbitrary increases,” he said, contending that the review had become necessary in order to ensure that commuters continued to enjoy uninterrupted bus service as they go about their daily businesses.

Dabiri, while appealing for understanding of commuters on the new fares, charged BRT operators to reciprocate government’s gestures by providing services befitting Lagos as a mega city.

“We appeal to the commuters to show understanding as the new fares take effect. We believe also that the operators would reciprocate the gesture of the government by providing services befitting Lagos as a mega city,” the LAMATA boss said.

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