Few days after the management of the Bus Rapid Transit, Primero Transport Services Ltd. commenced the newly increased bus fares along the BRT corridors under the coverage of the company in Lagos, the head of the company has revealed part of the reasons behind the increase.
According to the Managing Director of Primero, Mr. Fola Tinubu, the fare increase necessary due to the current economic situation in the country.
In his words, “the fare increase for was a necessity to ensure that we continue to stay afloat and remain in business. Before we announced the increase, it took us more than six months of planning and having several discussions with the relevant bodies in Lagos State.”
“At first, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode advised that we find measures to sustain our operations. After considering all options, we concluded that it is important that we go ahead with the fare increase because of the cost of maintenance and running our activities that also had an increase due to the economic situation in the country,” he added.
Commenting on the drop in patronage since the fare increased took effect, Mr. Tinubu said that “we also noticed that from our projections and we are working towards how to cushion the effect on the company. Prior to the increment, we convey more than 190,000 residents on a daily basis but that has dropped to around 140,000 presently. While we continue to initiate new ways to sustain those who use our buses presently, we are confident that the ones that haven’t used our transport system since the increment will come back on board.”
Reacting to the need for Primero to adopt the use of locally manufactured paraphernalia in its operations, he disclosed that “plans are in place to begin assemblage of buses in Nigeria before the end of the year. The initial plan of Primero management was to directly affect lives of Lagosians and Nigerians at large by creating employment through our operations.”
You would recall that the new BRT fares took effect on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. At that time, residents termed the decision by the Primero Management as “inconsiderate” owing to the economic downturn in the country.