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Lagosians express mixed feelings over increased BRT fares

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Users of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) transport in Lagos have differed on the state government’s N100 hike in transportation fare, which took effect on July 13.

While some rationalised the move in the light of high diesel costs, others demanded for better service to justify the increment.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu approved the increase of N100 on all routes of the BRT to cover the increase in operational cost, such as diesel and spare parts.

A freelance journalist, who gave his name only as Francis, said the increment was expected.

Francis, who lives at Agric and plies the BRT to and fro his office at Lagos Island, said: “The price of everything has gone up in the market. Gas, petrol, diesel prices have all gone up, so, it is not surprising at all.”

A printer, Mr Saka Lawal, who resides in Ikorodu and works at Fadeyi, said there had been discussions with the government through a WhatsApp platform for more than a month before the increment was announced.

He said that the money was much to some people and there was fear that other commercial buses would follow suit and increase their prices.

Lawal urged the government to provide additional buses, especially at Ikorodu, to solve the problem of long queues which make many to get to office late daily.

“We understand that diesel is costly and not available at some filling stations but government should upgrade their standard and reduce queues at various bus-stops of BRT,” he said.

Mr Adewale Johnson, a banker on Lagos Island, said the N100 increment was reasonable.

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He, however, said there should be more buses to reduce crowd at the bus stops to the barest minimum.

Miss Toyin Ayilara, who plies Abule-Egba to Oshodi, said the increment would affect her daily budget being a trader.

She also urged the government to get more buses.

Also, a rug seller at Itire, Mr Yekini Sanusi, said he had purchased N600 BRT top-up  on the Cowry card, but ended up boarding other commercial buses after waiting on the queue for three hours.

“We are not satisfied with the increment, it used to be N300 from Ikorodu to CMS or Costain, during the heat of COVID-19 but it was increased to N500 while observing the social distancing.

“After the period, government refused to reduce the fare and increase the numbers in the buses and now they increased fare with N100,” Sanusi said.

He pleaded with the state government to reverse the fare, as the country was facing a lot which was affecting the common people.

A tailor at Tejuosho market who resides at Ojo, Mrs Mary Emeka, pleaded with government to get more buses to ply Ojo-CMS axis.

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