Different reactions have continued to trail the increase in fare of the Lagos Bus (LAGBUS). The fare increase which was effected on March 1, 2017 had earlier been made known to the public some weeks back. The commuters at the Centre of Excellence have expressed varying opinions ranging from contents to disapproval over the increase in the fare of the transport system.
At the Oshodi Bus Terminus, it came as a surprise to a lot of the commuters as they didn’t expect the government will truly effect the change. A particular passenger who was going to Ajah wasn’t expecting the N300 she was told was the new fare. Confusion was written all over her face as she wasn’t sure of what to do.
To some, there was no big deal in the increase, “The price of fuel has not been the same over the years but the bus fares has remained the same. As much as they are trying to provide subsidized services to the people, we should all understand that they also need to keep the buses running. and this can only be done if the proceeds from the services rendered is worthy”, one Mrs ‘Iyin Olapade said.
“I am not against the increase. However, I expect that the services provided will also become better. Endless wait at the park, especially in the morning should stop”, one commuter said.
To some, it is uncalled for and express that it would only increase the already unbearable economic hardship. “The other buses will increase their fares too now and transportation will become a huge issue for the people”, Mr Linus opined.
It would be recalled that the managing director of LAMATA, Mr. Dabiri on 13th of February 2017, issued a statement making known to the general public of Lagos State the need for the increase. According to him, he said, “As a result of the economic downturn, public transport has been severely impacted as all related costs have escalated beyond any financial projection. Although the government is focused on a strategic reform of the public transport operations to create a world-class public transport that is modern, cost-effective and safe, the government has to consider the request of the operators for an upward review of bus fares due to the current prices for some of these schemes, which have stayed constant for more than six years”.
The fare increase, which ranges from 20 to 50 per cent, cuts across all the routes. While some seem bearable, as is the case of Iyana Ipaja to Oshodi and Yaba to CMS which saw a N20 increase from N50 to N70, others seem too outrageous like Ikotun to Ikeja which is now N200 from N100 per trip. Others are: Oshodi to CMS which is now N150 as compared to the N100. Ikorodu to Mile 12, with a fare of N70 will become N100 from today. Ikotun to Iyana Ipaja will move up from N50 to N100. Also, from Igando to Maryland will now cost N150 from its former fare of N100, Dopemu to Ikeja/Maryland would pay N200 as against the N150 fare and Oshodi to Ajah will now be N300 as against the former price of N250.
LAGBUS which started operations on the 17th of February 2007 was created out of the experience of Lagos state over the years to assist in alleviating the transportation issues in the state. With over 500 buses and 40 routes currently in operation, it operates through a prepaid and on-the-bus ticketing service available in different denominations to different routes.