FARES of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses in Lagos will be going up by N100 on all routes due to what the state government explained as high operating costs.
A statement signed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) on June 30, 2022, said the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwoolu, has approved the increase.
The statement, signed by LAMATA’s Assistant Director, Corporate Communications, Kolawole Ojelabi, said the increase, which would come into effect on Wednesday, 13 July 2022, was aimed at ensuring 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 N187 to N830/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.”
It also outlined plans for providing support for the companies in view of the continuous increase in fuel price as a means of ensuring that the effects of the increase on passengers were minimised.
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 solution, for sustainability reasons.
“With the increase, a bus ride from Ikorodu–TBS will now cost N600 from N500, while Berger to Ajah is now N700, up from N600. Oshodi to Abule Egba will cost N450 from N350 and Abule-Egba-CMS-Obalende will attract a fare of N600,” the statement said.
In May 2020, 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 N200 for a trip, it is going to be N300, and everywhere commuters are paying N300 per trip, it is going to be N500.”
In July 2020, the Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL), operator of the Marcopolo high-capacity buses, also increased its fares by 45 per cent.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Lagos State, Frederic Oladeinde, who spoke about the BRT evolution in the maiden transportation conference held earlier this month at Eko Hotels, Lagos, said that two years ago, another BRT stretch was commissioned from Oshodi to Abule Egba.
Oladeinde disclosed that a fourth BRT stretch would soon be introduced on the Lagos-Badagry expressway to strengthen the bus reform system.