Some commuters complain ‘overloading’ on BRT buses despite increase in fares

Some commuters in Lagos State on Monday complained that Bus Rapid Transit in the state was loading full capacity despite the increase in fares and the need for social distancing.

Reports gathered last Thursday that Primero Transport Services Limited , operators of BRT , announced an increment in fares by 50 per cent .

However , our correspondent gathered that the increment is more than 50 per cent in certain routes.

While increasing the fares , the company added that 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 .

But the commuters alleged that the BRT buses were “ overloaded ” with no regard for measures announced by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus .

According to them , the distance between passengers on the bus was “ too close ” and could lead to easy transmission of the virus .

One of them, Bisiriyu Ganiyu , described the increase in fares without adequate measures being implemented as unjust.

He said , “From Ojota en route Tafawa Balewa Square , I paid N 300 . Even from Fadeyi, they collected N 300 from passengers who joined the bus to TBS .

“ This is a great injustice being done by Primero .

No social distancing directed by the government was followed .

No sanitiser at the point of entry and no nose mask enforcement.

“ Full load was carried and commuters were forced to pay N 300 for a fare of N 200 .

This is unjust and illegal . An injury to one is an injury to all. ”

Another commuter , identified simply as Bimbo , said she also paid N 300 from Barracks Bus Stop to Ketu with the bus loading full capacity.

She , however , clarified that passengers were not allowed to stand on the bus .

Bimbo said , “ The fares were increased by up to 200 per cent on certain routes. From Barracks to TBS is N 300 and we used to pay N 100 .

Also , Barracks to Ikorodu used to be N 250 , now it ’ s N 500 . How is that a 50 per cent increment ?

“ They are just putting our lives at risk, making lives harder , all for the sake of their own gains. ”

Earlier , the Managing Director of the Primero , Mr Fola Tinubu , said the cost of operating the buses had increased so much that the firm is finding it difficult to survive and sustain operations , and had been piling up losses .

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