LASG set to roll out 820 medium, high-capacity buses for operation
...says bus shelters, terminals ready
Lagos State government said on Thursday that it is set to roll out its 820 medium and high capacity buses under its public transportation transformation of Bus Reform Initiative, to meet the yearnings of its citizenry.
Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson, disclosed in a statement made available to newsmen, lamenting that Lagos metropolitan population was for a long time highly dependent on public transportation which had been un-organized.
He said it was in an effort to address challenges such as poor quality service, unpredictable fare, unhealthy competition, high rate of accidents and unreliable service that the state government designed the Bus Reform Project.
Lawanson said this involved replacement of yellow mini buses with Air conditioned buses of uniformed specification, with predictable bus schedules and routes supported by appropriate infrastructure.
The commissioner recalled the first implementation of the bus reform which began with the construction and commissioning of the Ikeja Bus Terminal by President Muhammadu Buhari, noting the completion of other terminals at Yaba, Oyingbo, Ojota, Agege, and Ajah, with the masterpiece which is the Oshodi Transport Interchange, set to be unveiled by Mr. President before the end of this present Administration on May 29.
He added that the Bus Reform Project which would be technology driven woukd ensure seamless integration of transport modes and passenger movement through 23 routes forefficiency and effectiveness, to restore the confidence of Lagosians in the use of public transport facilities.
Speaking further, Lawanson said under the first phase of the Bus Reform Project, 75 out of the planned 100 bus shelters had been completed to support the operation of the buses.
He allayed the fear that the existing transport unions members would be sent into labour market, opining that 800 of the buses would be released to private operators using the operating lease model.
According to him, the model has incorporated the current road transport operators namely; National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) with their selection as part of the Bus Operating Companies.
Highlighting further, the Commissioner disclosed other features of the Bus Reform Project as a job creation component for which drivers and bus attendants, who would be professionally trained and well kitted, would be sourced locally, while ticketing, vulcanizing, cleaning/washing and others by the Bus Operating Companies would also depend on the citizenry for staffing.
Lawanson, therefore, congratulated Lagosians for being part of this laudable project aimed at ensuring better quality life, urging the citizenry to take ownership of the project, guide against misuse and vandalisation while awaiting the commencement of operation.