By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos.
The Lagos State Government has approved an increase of between 20 to 50 per cent in fares on different routes along the operational corridors in the State.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Lagos State Governor’s Office Correspondents in Alausa on Monday, the Managing Director/CEO, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, LAMATA, Engineer Abiodun Dabiri, said the increment became necessary due to the economic downturn, which has affected financial projections of the operators.
The increment in fares will affect the three major operators in the State such as Primero Bus Service, managers of Bus Rapid Transport (BRT), Bus Franchise Scheme (BFS), and LAGBUS.
According to Dabiri, “Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has approved a fare increase for the three operators effective from Wednesday, 1st March 2017. The average increases approved range from 20 per cent to 50 per cent on different routes.
“In approving the fare increase, government weighed the justification of the operators for the increase vis-à-vis the effect on the commuters. The current financial crunch however has seen an average cost of operations increase to up to about 110 per cent. With cost of fueling going up by 71 per cent, oil prices up by 64 per cent, tyre costs up by 90 per cent, continued operations is thereby threatened, ” he said.
He said the government recognised the current financial difficulty being experienced by Lagosians and assured public transport users of government’s protection from arbitrary increase.
A total of 61 routes will be affected by the fare review. Some of the affected routes include: CMS to Ajah, which used to cost N150, will now cost N200. Leventis to Eko Hotel which used to cost N70, now costs N100. Oshodi to CMS increases from N100 to N150. Dopemu to Broad Street which initially cost N160 now costs N200.
Ikorodu to Mile 12 will now cost N100, Mile 12 to Fadeyi also becomes N100. Ikorodu to Fadeyi will now cost N200, while commuters from Ikorodu to CMS will now pay N300 for the journey.
Dabiri appealed to the commuters to show understanding as the new fares take effect. He added that operators had been advised to improve their cost efficiency and effectiveness as it would be difficult to pass the entire cost of operations to the consumers bearing in mind that a lot of the users are in the low income bracket.