Hello Lagos BRT users, the governor has approved an increase in the fares

What if you woke up in Lagos and observed that the Lagos government has introduced smaller buses so people pay less to move around the state. Oh! We have that already, but Lagos residents may not pay less starting July 13, as it has been reported that fares of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses will be going up by ₦100 on all routes due to what the state government calls high operational costs.

Besides…the smaller buses are not energy-efficient, yet.

Indeed, consumers’ low purchasing power amid worsening economic conditions has already forced many to find alternative means to get to their destination. Using motorcycles is not the alternative (especially with the ban), and neither are tricycles, so, more people will wait a long time at bus stops expecting cheaper fares, or take a walk ‘forward’ to reduce the amount to be paid – these are not new, they simply intensified.

And, the BRT means has provided better and cheaper alternatives, but the story may be taking a new turn.

A statement signed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) on June 30, 2022, said the Lagos governor, Babajide Sanwoolu, has approved the ₦100 increase.

The statement, signed by LAMATA’s Assistant Director, Corporate Communications, Kolawole Ojelabi, said the increase, which would come into effect on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, was aimed at ensuring the sustainability of the BRT and standard route schemes.

The statement read in part, “Operations of the transport scheme, of late, had been hampered due to rising cost of inputs required for sustainable service offering and the attendant high number of buses out of operation as a result of lack of spare parts.

“For instance, the exponential increase in the pump price of diesel from ₦187 to ₦830/litre between August 2020 and June 2022, had greatly affected optimal performance of the bus operating companies leading to the withdrawal of buses from operation and longer waiting time at bus stations.”

The statement said the governor also approved a proposal for a bail-out for the companies in order to cushion the effects of the “harsh operating environment and safeguard private partnership investment.”

The statement also added that it had approved the authority’s request for the conversion of the current diesel buses in operation to the use of compressed natural gas (CNG), and a shift to different economically viable and environmentally-friendly mobility energy solutions, for sustainability reasons.

BRT Lagos

“With the increase, a bus ride from Ikorodu–TBS will now cost ₦600 from ₦500, while Berger to Ajah is now ₦700, up from ₦600. Oshodi to Abule Egba will cost ₦450 from ₦350 and Abule-Egba-CMS-Obalende will attract a fare of N600,” the statement said.

It happened in May 2020 that Primero Transport Services Ltd., operator of the BRT scheme, increased fares across all its routes because, as the company explained, of transport protocols imposed on bus operators during the 2020 pandemic.

The company’s Managing Director, Fola Tinubu,  said he secured the permission of LAMATA to do so. The COVID-19 guidelines mandated it to commute only 20 passengers per trip instead of 70.

Tinubu had then said, “Everywhere commuters are paying ₦200 for a trip, it is going to be ₦300, and everywhere commuters are paying ₦300 per trip, it is going to be ₦500.”

Also, in July 2020, the Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL), operator of the Marcopolo high-capacity buses, also increased its fares by 45 percent.

A ₦100 increase is not so bad, right? Right?

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