Ambode Okays 50% Fare Hike for BRT, LAGBUS
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has approved a 20–50 percent fare increase for LAGBUS and other BRT operators effective from Wednesday, March 1, 2017.
It was explained that the hike is in view of the current economic downturn which has consequently escalated all costs related to operation of the public transport beyond any financial forecast or projection.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos on Monday, the Managing Director of LAMATA, Mr Abiodun Dabiri, explained that the current government is focused on a strategic reform of the public transport in order to create a world-class public transport infrastructure and support for operations that is modern, cost-effective, safe and sustainable on the long run.
According to him, the state government had to consider the request of the operators for an upward review of bus fares due to the current prices on some of these schemes, which have stayed constant for more than six years for some operators.
However, in approving the fare increase, government weighed the justification of the operators for the increase vis-a-vis the effect on commuters.
He averred that the state government recognises the current financial difficulties currently endured by Lagosians and wishes to emphatically assure public transport users of government’s commitment to protecting them from arbitrary fare increases.
Mr Dabiri said nevertheless, the review became necessary to ensure that commuters continue to enjoy uninterrupted bus service daily.
While appealing to commuters to show understanding as the new fares take effect, the LAMATA boss gave assurance that operators would reciprocate the gesture of the government by providing services befitting Lagos as a mega city.
Mr Dabiri also used the opportunity to advise LAGBUS and all other operators to improve their cost efficiency and effectiveness as it would be difficult to pass the entire cost of operations to the consumers, thus mandating them to sensitise transport users through various media about the new fare regime.