Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Primero Transport Services Limited, operators of the Bus Rapid Transport, has said fares will increase by about 50 per cent.
The company on Thursday said it got approval from the regulator of the sector, the Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, to increase the fares.
Earlier, the News Agency of Nigeria reported that the company withdrew its services on Monday due to losses caused by the new guidelines of government which restricted the number of commuters on the BRT to 20 per trip instead of 70.
The BRT Managing Director, Mr Fola Tinubu, told NAN that the management of the company would resolve the issues after a meeting with the government.
After the meeting, Tinubu said an agreement had been reached for the fares to be increased.
He said, “We are going to increase our pricing effective from Friday, May 29. We agreed on this after our talk with the Lagos State Government.
“Everywhere commuters are paying N200 for a trip, it is going to be N300 and everywhere commuters are paying N300 per trip, it is going to be N500.
“We are increasing our fares. We have secured the permission of the regulator, Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority.”
He said 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 to curb the spread of COVID-19.
According to him, the firm understands the plight of the people and the economic situation, but the step became imperative to keep serving the commuters diligently and to provide a world-class service for them.
“We need to make sure the company is on a sound financial footing, and if we don’t do this, the buses will not be available in the long run and there will be no way for us to fix buses and bring new buses.
“The business must be on a solid financial footing. Without this, the company cannot survive, and if the company does not survive, it will even cost commuters more in the long run,” Tinubu told NAN.
The LAMATA External Relations Specialist, Kola Ojelabi, confirmed the development, adding that the decision was taken in the interest of commuters, many of whom had been stranded after BRT buses were withdrawn from the road.
He said, “In order for the people not to suffer, the government had to agree to them increasing the fare and the number of passengers. For the few days that buses were not on the road, people knew what they went through.” (NAN)