A group, under the aegis of the Concerned BRT Commuters, on Monday appealed for the Lagos State Government’s intervention to reverse the recent fare hike by the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit system.
They said the downward review is necessary to reduce the burden that the recent hike might have on the masses.
The group’s Coordinator, Abiodun Awobokun, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
Awobokun said the recent hike in the bus fares from N250 to N500 was not convenient for the working class in the Ikorodu axis.
He said: “The problem we are facing is the current hike in the price of the BRT bus fares.
“Ikorodu is densely populated by the average working-class in the state.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we heard of a proposed increment of the BRT bus fare, we had series of meetings with the Primero BRT management but we were given no tangible reason for the increment.
“As a group, we have written letters over the increment to the state governor, the Commissioner for Transportation, the State House of Assembly and the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority.
“The commuters are murmuring over the increase, but cannot do anything about it and that is why we are calling on the government for help.
“We will be very happy if the price hike is reversed to favour the masses.”
Another member of the group, Tajudeen Akintoye, spoke on the urgent need for the government to intervene in reviewing the fare to help the masses.
Akintoye said: “We want the whole world to know what the Ikorodu BRT commuters are going through since the recent increase in the bus fare.
“We want a reversal in the price hike of the Primero BRT bus fares to enable the common man commute easily within the state.
“We have come with a united voice as ‘Concerned BRT Commuters’ to call for a reduction in the Primero bus fare.
“Anything the government and stakeholders can do to intervene in this matter will go a long to ameliorate the plight of the bus users.”
However, the Managing Director of the Primero BRT services, Fola Tinubu, said the increment was not to victimise the commuters but to keep the bus system afloat as a business.
Tinubu told NAN that the recent hike in the company’s transport fare was approved by the state government and LAMATA.
He said: “We have secured the permission of the regulator, LAMATA, before the fare increment.
“The firm understands the plight of the people and the economic situation.
“But the step became imperative to keep serving the commuters diligently and to provide a world-class service for them.
“We are doing this not to punish anybody or to victimise anybody but because the circumstances we found ourselves forced us to do it.
“We need to make sure the company is on a sound financial footing and if we don’t do this, there will be no way for us to maintain the buses and bring new buses.”
According to Tinubu, the business must be on a solid financial footing, without which the company cannot survive.
He said: “We understand that this is going to put some hardship on people but if we don’t do this and the company goes under, it will even cost the people more.”