Following the announcement that the Lagos State Government led by Akinwunmi Ambode plan to banish the yellow commercial buses ‘danfo’ on major Lagos roads, the news was welcomed with mixed reactions by residents.
While a myriad of Mainlanders appreciated the new move by the government, some others were of the opinion that the ban would create unemployment and further lead to various forms of crime perpetrated by the persons who lose their jobs in the process.
Clearing the air on the need to phase out the danfo buses in metropolitan Lagos, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode who spoke through the Special Adviser on Communities and Communications, Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan said the “plan to remove danfo buses from the major roads in Lagos is a project in line with creating the Mega city we all desire. The first information that made the news was a well-thought plan of seven months effort by researchers of the government.”
The Special Adviser who stressed the need to create an effective transport system continued that “the whole idea of taking danfo away from metropolitan Lagos is to enable more BRT buses become economically viable. The new plan is to create a transport system that carries the greatest number of people with the least number of buses as a solution to the congestion that is plaguing all of us on Lagos roads. Putting the BRT buses in that line, you find out that for every BRT bus, you get three danfo commuters in one.”
Speaking on the factors responsible for phasing out danfo buses on major Lagos roads, Hon. Bamigbetan said “the factors responsible for the new shift involves the demographic, aesthetics and economic reasons to morph Lagos into the Mega city of our dreams.”
“The target is, we need 5000 mass transit buses to be able to effectively man our street. The more the buses come into town, the more it is important to create a policy environment for them to be sustained because it costs a lot of money in terms of investment and those who are investing in the business need to be assured of their return on investment at the shortest period of time which means that we must reduce the competition that they currently have,” he added.
On the beatification factor, Hon. Bamigbetan said “with the current beatification and environmental projects going on in Lagos, we will get to a stage where you won’t find a litter on your streets in another five months. We need to also blend it with a transport system that is also clean and convenient for Lagosians.”
“People often ask that why did we chose the colour yellow for the buses. This is because Lagos is a coastal city and when you look from the sky, what you see is blue. Lagos is a white and blue city and there is something shrinking about yellow. The psychology to yellow is different to blue. The while idea is to have a colour that blends into the feel of the state and a functional transport system that can attract investors and tourists alike,” he added.
Commenting on the plan to address the unemployment that will be caused by ban, Hon. Bamigbetan said “conductors that are interested will be trained and retrained to work as tickers while the bus drivers will be introduced into the scheme as drivers who are gainfully employed.”
He added that “there are towns in Lagos where the danfo buses will be active due to the developmental projects embarked upon by the government in areas such as Ikorodu, Epe, Badagry and Abule Egba; and the migration to the localities in Lagos State, we expect that the danfos will move into those areas and leave the main metropolitan Lagos for the BRT buses.”
You would recall that Ambode during his remarks at the 14th Annual Lecture of the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) held at Muson Centre, said “commercial buses will make way for a more efficient, well-structured and world class mass transportation system that would facilitate ease of movement within the city.”