COVID-19: Lagos BRT Increases fares, Number Of passengers
The operator of the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Primero Transport Services Limited, has increased bus fares across all routes with effect from today, May 29.
The BRT Managing Director, Fola Tinubu, said on Thursday that the increment was to keep the business afloat to serve the people.
Recall that Primero Transport Services Limited had withdrawn its services on Monday over losses occasioned by the COVID-19 transport guidelines which mandated it to limit the number of passengers per trip to 20 passengers as against the full capacity of 70.
However, earlier on Thursday, Tinubu, told journalists that the management would resolve all issues with the state government in the afternoon and restore services on Friday.
After talks with the government, Tinubu said: “We are going to increase our pricing effective from tomorrow, Friday, May 29.
“We agreed on this after our talk with the Lagos State Government.
“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.
“We have secured permission of the regulator (Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority).”
While empathising with commuters who have their own economic woes to deal with, Tinubu maintained that the step became necessary so the company can keep serving the commuters diligently.
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He said: “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, the buses will not be available in the long run and there will be no way for us to fix buses and bring new buses.
“The business must be on a solid financial footing.
“Without this, the company cannot survive, and if the company does not survive, it will even cost commuters more in the long run.
“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.”
Tinubu said the number of passengers on the buses would also be increased to 42 with no passenger standing on buses as against 20 earlier approved by the government to curb spread of COVID-19.
The managing director regretted the inconveniences and distress the withdrawal of services caused the teeming commuters in Lagos while it lasted.
He said the firm would be back in full operations and would put 320 buses out to make sure people got to destinations in time and safely.
He also said the firm will ensure that going forward, the wait time and queues at bus stations are reduced.