The operator of the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Primero Transport Services Ltd., says it will restore services on Friday, following talks with the Lagos State government over the withdrawal of its services.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the BRT operator had withdrawn its services since Monday over losses due to COVID-19 new transport guidelines that mandated it to commute only 20 passengers per trip instead of 70.
An authoritative source had told NAN that the company might likely run out of diesel and other supplies that would likely disrupt BRT operations in the state.
Several BRT users had been complaining about this development since Friday when the news broke out and since Monday when the buses were withdrawn.
Giving an update on the withdrawal of services, Mr Fola Tinubu, BRT Managing Director, told NAN on Thursday that the management felt the pains of commuters in the state since Monday.
“I withdrew all the buses since Monday because we cannot continue at 20 passengers for 70 capacity buses without an increase in fares. The losses, we are piling up, were just too much and threatening.
“Primero should be back in full operations tomorrow (Friday) because we are talking to the Lagos State government and all issues will be resolved today.
“I am sorry for the inconveniences and distress this withdrawal of services has caused the teeming commuters in Lagos who rely on BRT services since Monday.
“I assure everybody that Primero will be back in full operations tomorrow and we will put 320 buses out to make sure people get to where they are going in a fast and safe way,” Tinubu said.
According to him, the firm will ensure that going forward, the wait time and queues at bus stations are reduced.
“We will do all within our power to ensure the resumption of operation. We would have resolved all our issues this afternoon,” he added.
Tinubu, however, did not give details of the agreement reached between the state government and his company in respect of the fares and number of passengers to be carried per bus.
On May 15, NAN reported a shortage of BRT buses across various routes, presence of long queues and an increase in awaiting time at BRT stations in Lagos.
BRT users have been complaining over the shortage of buses since the easing of the current lockdown on May 4.
The state government had directed the 70-capacity buses to carry only 20 passengers.