Some commuters in Lagos State have appealed to the state government to reconsider its plan to increase the bus fares of Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) and Lagos Buses known as LAGBUS with effect from March 1.
They said that the increment when implemented would bring more hardships to them especially during this recession.
They added that it would further expand the gulf between the rich and the masses which BRT and LAGBUS buses had tried to bridge.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State had approved between 20 per cent and 50 per cent fare increase for BRT, LAGBUS and other franchise buses, with effect from March 1, 2017.
The governor said that the increase was necessitated by the economic downturn in the country which had affected the transport sector drastically.
NAN also reports that the fare increase differs in various routes. For a ride on BRT bus from Ikorodu to CMS, where a passenger currently pays N200, the passenger will pay N300 as fare from March 1.
A trip from Ikorodu to Mile 12, with a fare of N70 at present will become N100 also.
Fare from Ikotun to Iyana Ipaja, now N50 will move up to N100 while Ikotun to Ikeja would be N200 from the present N100 per passenger.
Also, from Igando to Maryland would be N150 from its present N100, while every passenger travelling from Dopemu to Ikeja/Maryland would pay N200 as against the present N150 fare.
Mr Wale Adegboyega, a civil servant, told NAN on Thursday that the proposed increase would further add to the existing sufferings of the commuters.
Adegboyega said that majority of commuters boarding those buses would face a lot of financial challenges as a result of the increments.
“We appeal to the government to reconsider its plan to increase the fares as it will bring more hardship to the residents.
“Currently, the country is in recession when many citizens are only leaving from hand to mouth, it will be unfair if the government should embark on such policy.
“For the past three years, there has not been an increment in salaries paid to workers whereas schools fees, house rents and prices of food stuffs have increased significantly.
“Boarding BRT and LAGBUS buses have been the only avenue where we enjoy the dividends of democracy,” he said.