Two months after the management of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) commenced the increase in bus fares across the BRT corridors under its coverage which led to various complaints by commuters, recent indications show that the bus fare would not be reduced any time soon.
The development is following the recent comments of the Managing Director of Primero, Mr. Fola Tinubu, who stressed that the fares would remain same.
Prior to the new fares, the Managing Director of LAMATA, Engr. Dabiri cited the current economic downturn which has pushed up operational costs, as the reason for the fare increase.
“The State Government had to consider the request of the operators for an upward review of bus fares due to the current prices on some of these schemes, which have stayed constant for more than 6 years for some operators. In approving the fare increase, government weighed the justification of the operators for the increase vis-a-vis the effect on commuters,” he disclosed on the increase.
Speaking on why the fares would remain same, Mr. Tinubu of Primero said the recent drop in cost of diesel is not enough to revert to the old price.
“The drop in price of diesel is not enough for us to revert or change price. There are other operational and maintenance costs that we have to put into consideration before taking such decisions,” he told InsideMainland.
He continued that “we are trying to change the paradigm in transport business in Lagos by offering services and standards that is applicable in other parts of the world. For us to achieve this, we need to get funds because it takes a lot of money to run an effective transport system.”
Reiterating that the fare increase was a necessity, Tinubu said the increase was imperative for Primero to stay afloat in business.
Tinubu however added that Primero whose headquarters is in Majidun, Ikorodu, now runs a 24-hour maintenance and warehouse with 100 percent local skilled personnel. “We do not outcource maintenance or any mechanical work on the buses to anyone. We have employees whose duty is to check for these issues and carry out needed maintenance.”
You would recall that in March 2017, the BRT management commenced new fares across all BRT corridors from Ikorodu axis to CMS. The fare increase was announced on Monday, February 13, 2017, and it took effect on Wednesday, March 1, 2017.