By Adedapo Adesanya
The Lagos State government has increased the number of passengers in the state-operated buses from 20 to 42 just as it increased fares on buses operated by the Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL) by 45 per cent effective August 1.
This was disclosed in a statement on Tuesday by the Assistant Director, Corporate Communication, at the Lagos Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LAMATA), Mr Kolawole Ojelabi.
According to Mr Ojelabi, the approval has been made by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the execution will take effect at the stipulated date.
The statement said, “Governor Sanwo-Olu assented to the bus fare review following a plea by the bus operating company on the need to sustain its operation because of the negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on public bus transportation.
“The governor also approved LBSL’s request to increase the number of passengers per bus from 20 to 42 in observance of updated COVID-19 protocol, as directed by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in the operation of public transport, while ensuring other measures are in place.
“Sanwo-Olu granted LBSL buses permission to access dedicated bus lanes in Lagos State, thus making their journey times predictable on corridors with bus dedicated lanes.”
The statement confirmed that the bus service “had argued that conveying not more than 20 passengers per bus, per trip, had resulted in only 14 per cent utilisation of the busload factor, leading to 72 per cent drop in revenue, while the running costs remained fairly the same.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, bus services had been directed to carry about one-third of their usual capacity in order to avoid spreading the contagion.
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