14th June, 2011
Passengers of the Bus Franchise Scheme are angry over the increase in fare from N50 to N70 per trip along major routes in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
In a statement in dated May 30, 2011 and signed by Bode Dinyo, managing director of Mint Seal Services Limited and Elder Dimeji Sesan, president of ICBC, the transport company had announced that it would increase the fare from N50 to N70 per trip effective June 6, 2011
The reasons for the increase was hinged on the premise that BFS could recover some of its operational costs, purchase more buses to add to the existing 50 and provide light along major streets in Lagos.
However independent investigations by our reporter along the Iyana Ipaja, Igando and Ikeja routes on Tuesday revealed that the passengers are angry with the company for imposing an additional N20 fare on them without a corresponding increase in the quality and frequency of service delivery.
P.M.NEWS witnessed passengers raining abuse on the management of BFS on Tuesday at PWD, Oshodi bus-stop for the increase in fare, which they described as irrational and uncalled for, since the company did not seek the views of passengers before imposing the new fare on them.
The anger unleashed on the BFS ticketers and drivers was also noticed along the Iyana Ipaja/Igando routes, where most of the passengers were reluctant to enter the buses, which were parked for hours at both Iyana Ipaja bus stop and Igando.
Some of the passengers, who spoke with P.M.NEWS complained bitterly about the increase and vowed to protest the decision of the management of the transport company in order to draw the attention of the Lagos state government to the fare hike by the company.
When our reporter contacted the BFS office in Alausa, Ikja, none of the staff was willing to talk on the issue, even as they said that the public relations officer was not around.
BFS in a statement dated May 30, 2011 further explained that the LASU Iyana Ipaja route, Ikotun Maryland route, as well as Ikeja Iyana Ipaja are some of the routes that will be affected by the increase in transport fares.
In the last two years, BFS has successfully carried 19 million passengers using 50 buses, created direct employment for 500 persons in Lagos and indirect jobs for more than 2000 others across various parts of the state, it stated.
The statement, which was being circulated today to commuters at Oshiodi, Ikeja, Iyana Ipaja and Maryland further has it that details of the increase in fares will be pasted shortly in all BFS buses as it has been approved by LAMATA.
By Emmanuel Udom